Israel names new chief of staff amid scandal

As head of Israel's Southern Command, Galant led forces in the December 2008-January 2009 attack on Gaza that cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

Israel names new chief of staff amid scandal

Israel named a new army chief on Sunday, choosing a general who led troops in its Gaza attack after weeks of media speculation over a "war of the generals" to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi as chief of staff.

As head of Israel's Southern Command, Galant led forces in the December 2008-January 2009 attack on Gaza that cost the lives of 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis.

General Yoav Galant, the army's commander for southern Israel, has been chosen as chief of staff and Barak will submit his name for cabinet approval next week, the defence ministry said.

Israel's "war of the generals" has been a top local story, after a document lobbying for Galant's appointment and smearing his rivals, purportedly prepared by a PR firm hired by Galant, was leaked to a television channel.

The choice of a successor to current army chief Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, due to step down in February, has been clouded by scandal.

Allegations that Galant had hired a publicist to smear a rival candidate for the post has dominated Israeli headlines, which focused on suspicions of back-stabbing in the military's senior ranks.

But police said on Thursday the accusations were not true and a document at the heart of the affair was a fake.

Israel's cabinet planned to ratify the appointment next week.

Galant was born in November 1958 in the mixed Arab-Jewish neighbourhood of Jaffa, which now forms part of Tel Aviv.

He joined the navy's Flotilla 13 commando unit, rising through the ranks to become its commander from 1994-1997. The unit carried out the May 31 raid on an aid ship bound for Gaza in which nine Turkish activists were killed.

In 2005, Galant was appointed to head Israel's southern command.

Agencies

Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2010, 10:25
Add Comment