Defense Minister Presents Candidate for New IDF Chief of Staff

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday presented Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, as the candidate to serve as the next IDF Chief of Staff to the Goldberg Committee, which vets senior public service appointments. After approval by the Committee, the appointment will have to be approved by the government.

“Maj.-Gen. Kochavi is the most appropriate, the most experienced and most experienced candidate to serve as chief of staff.” Liberman said in a statement Friday Liberman as he announced that he has chosen Kochavi to become the 22nd IDF chief of staff. “Maj. Gen. Kochavi has outstanding leadership, daring, creativity and command capabilities. The unique combination of the many roles he played in  the IDF, his proven command capabilities during times of emergency and routine, the great esteem he enjoys in the IDF and beyond as a professional authority and the great success with which he has carried out missions over the years makes him the most suitable candidate to lead the IDF in the coming years.”

Current chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot said Kochavi is an “outstanding officer with extensive combat and operational experience in the various sectors, who served in a number of command positions, field and headquarters, in which he excelled over the years and which prepared him for the role of  22nd chief of staff of the IDF.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said  Friday after returning from a secret visit to Oman that “Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi is the most suitable candidate to become the next chief of staff of the IDF.”

Other candidates to succeed Eisenkot included Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, Kochavi’s predecessor as deputy chief of staff; former Head of Operations Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon; and former GOC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir.

Kochavi was born in 1964 in the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Bialik, enlisted in the Paratroopers Brigade and served in all the command roles in the brigade. After completing his master’s degree at Harvard University in the United States, he served as  Eastern Division commander of the Lebanon Liaison Unit (1998-1999). During the Second Intifada Kochavi led the Paratrooper Brigade and later he served as commander of the Gaza Division ( 2004 – 2006). In 2007 he was promoted to head of Military Intelligence, a role he served in during 2008’s Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Since May 2017 he has served as deputy chief of staff.

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