The powers that be
Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
Netanyahu and Yochanan Locker
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel
Photo: Dana Kopel

Bibi, Gantz battle over next IAF chief

PM wants his military secretary to be named next Air Force commander, while army chief prefers officer known for opposing strike on Iran

The Air Force battle: One of the most important IDF appointments – that of Air Force commander - has reached the decision point, with a major battle taking place behind the scenes between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.


PM Netanyahu is believed to push for the appointment of his military secretary, Yochanan Locker, who is believed to support an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. However, Army Chief Gantz opposes the move and wants Planning Branch Head Amir Eshel, known for objecting to an Iran strike, to take the post.


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Notably, some senior army officials claim that the two candidates hold identical views on the Iran issue and have not yet been asked to present their stance. One way or another, it appears that the issue of a strike in Iran prompted the prime minister to interfere in the appointment.


The battle over the next Air Force chief, which up to now was conducted behind the scenes, reached the Knesset's State Control Committee Sunday, where Army Chief Gantz presented a decisive stance regarding his right to name the next IAF commander.


"Officers must not be appointed in contradiction to the army chief's view, and the Air Force commander is just like any other general," Gantz told the Committee, which discussed the State Comptroller's Report on IDF appointments. "That's why we have an army chief – he summons the candidates, and he is the one who provides the explanations. The army chief received the government's trust for running the military, and this is how it should be done."




פרסום ראשון: 01.23.12, 08:23
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