New IDF Chief Sworn In Amid Regional Tensions

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
Onlookers watch from a building during a handover ceremony, in which new Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot replaced outgoing Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, at Kirya base in Tel Aviv on Monday. (REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Onlookers watch from a building during a handover ceremony, in which new Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot replaced outgoing Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, at Kirya base in Tel Aviv on Monday. (REUTERS/Nir Elias)

Gadi Eisenkot was promoted to Lt. Gen., the IDF’s highest rank, on Monday, succeeding Benny Gantz, whose four-year-term expired, as Israel’s 21st military chief.

During his inauguration speech, Eisenkot said he is entering the position “with a big sense of responsibility. We are in the midst of a tense time rife with challenges. The Middle East is changing its face and is becoming unrecognizable. It is characterized by explosiveness and instability. The challenges of the time force us to be more determined, sophisticated, and act with sound judgment, more than ever.”

Eisenkot led a committee to improve cooperation between the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). In 2003, he became commander of the Yehuda and Shomron Division during the height of the intifada, when Palestinian suicide bombers terrorized Israeli cities.

In 2006, he commanded the General Staff’s Operations Branch during the Second Lebanon War, before becoming head of the Northern Command until 2011. In 2012 he oversaw the formation of the Depth Command, which handles operations in distant battle arenas, and in 2013 he became deputy chief of staff. He has a reputation for being level-headed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Eisenkot he won’t have “a single day of grace,” pointing to Iran and regional upheaval as challenges he faces.