Eisenkot excludes Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter from round of appointments
IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot chooses once again pass over Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter, a darling of the right-wing after Operation Protective Edge; IDF officials say Eisenkot seeks to 'promote young elite unit officers to lead the IDF in the next war.'
The head of the IDF's Central Command staff, Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter, was once again passed over for a promotion to division commander, it was revealed Monday when IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot's released his list for a new round of appointments.
Winter, who previously served as the commander of the Duvdevan elite unit and the Givati Brigade, was last promoted two years ago when he was appointed as the head of the Central Command staff.
During the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, he made headlines after distributing leaflets to the Givati Brigade commanders portraying the operation as a religious war.
Following the war, a campaign was launched by right-wing elements who wanted to have Winter promoted.
An IDF official told Ynet that, "All the commotion around Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter and his affiliation to one political side or another, including his comments during Operation Protective Edge, didn't affect Eisenkot's decisions."
The official pointed to several other brigadier generals who served as division commanders and were also excluded in this round of appointments—Ghassan Alian (Golani Brigade), Guy Hazut (Kfir Brigade) and Yehuda Fuchs (Nahal Brigade).
"Winter is no different ... They are all highly appreciated and their contribution is known," the official added.
The officers excluded from this round of appointments could either wait until the next round of appointments and contend for other positions in the IDF or retire.
Winter, who was also considered as a possible candidate to serve as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's military secretary, is expected to leave the army after having been passed over again.
Meanwhile, other promotions included in this round of appointments show that Eisenkot seeks to promote young officers coming from elite units to lead the next war.
Brig. Gen. Saat Tzur will be appointed the commander of the 162md Armored Division in the Sothern Command.
Col. Shlomi Binder, who served as the commander of both Sayeret Matkal and the Golani Brigade, will be promoted to the rank of brigadier general and serve as the commander of the 91st Division in the Northern Command, which is responsible for Israel's border with Lebanon.
The Bahad 1 (officers' school) Commander Col. Gur Schreibman, who previously commanded over Shayetet 13, will be also promoted to the rank of brigadier general and serve as the Edom Division's commander.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has yet to approve Eisenkot's new round of appointments.