University of Haifa Alumnus is Next IDF Chief of Staff

Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, a graduate of the University of Haifa, will become the 21st Commander- in-Chief of the Israel Defense Forces.  Eizenkot is expected to take office on Feb. 15, once IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, also a University of Haifa alumnus, completes his four-year term.  Former GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan has been named as Eizenkot’s deputy.

Gadi Eizenkot

Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot

“Eizenkot is the right man at the right time. He can lead the IDF through the substantial challenges we face,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.  “These challenges are relentless and I am convinced that by exercising responsible and firm policies we can overcome them all. I wish Eizenkot the best of luck. His success, in every way, is our success.”

Eisenkot served as Deputy IDF Chief of Staff for the past two years.  “I got to see your work up close as a minister, and I of course valued the way you navigated things in a difficult time of budget constraints,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said at the ceremony. “In light of this, and probably not just this, I recommended you to be the next chief of staff.”

Eizenkot, 54, rose through the ranks in the Infantry Corps. He began his service in the Golani Brigade, which he commanded between 1997 and 1998.  In 1999, Eizenkot was named Military Secretary to the Prime Minister and Defense Minister, and later headed the Judea and Samaria Brigades.  In January 2013, he was named Deputy Chief of Staff.

Eizenkot holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Tel Aviv University and a master’s degree in political science from Haifa University. As part of his master’s degree, he also attended the United States Army War College.

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