Reserves Major General Dan Harel, former commander of the Southern Command, on Thursday took over as Director-General of the Defense Ministry, replacing Udi Shani, at a ceremony held at the Kirya in the presence of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz, ending Shani’s three-and-a-half years in office.
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Harel, who previously served as director of the Transport Ministry, was appointed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. The new director will have to deal in the coming days with the implementation of the IDF’s new multi-year program, which includes closing field, air and sea units at rates previously unseen, alongside cuts to the defense budget for the coming year at NIS 3 billion.
“I took office at a time when there is an issue of resources and an increase in the amount of tasks set before us," said Harel at the ceremony. He called on those present at the ceremony, including members of the General Staff, to act in the spirit of the cuts. "We will have to improve the way we are run and do more with less. The situation will require all of to us to carry the stretcher, to be more modest in how we act and look.”
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