Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Hamas denies capturing Israeli soldier as Gaza truce lies in tatters

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Police 'chokehold' caused NYC death, coroner rules

    Read more

  • French most keen to erase their online footprint, says Google

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

Middle east

Israel names new army chief amid uncertainty over security shakeup

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-06

Israel announced the appointment of Benny Ganz as the new head of its armed forces on Saturday following a shakeup in the top ranks of Israeli security.

REUTERS - Israel named a new head for its armed forces on Saturday following a shakeup in the top ranks that a deputy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said had undermined national security at a time of regional turmoil.

The appointment of Benny Ganz, the former second-in-command who retired from the military after being passed over for chief of staff last year, will be proposed to the Israeli cabinet on Sunday, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said.

The nomination came days after Barak's first pick, Major General Yoav Galant, was withdrawn over a property scandal, raising the prospect of Israel having no replacement ready when the current chief, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi, steps down on Feb. 14.

Barak had curtailed Ashkenazi's tenure and refused to extend it should finding a substitute for Galant prove protracted. That triggered criticism given Israeli worries over the power struggle in neighbouring Egypt and Iran's nuclear programme.

Interviewed on Israeli television about the regional chaos, Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon, himself a former chief of staff, said of the Barak-Ashkenazi standoff: "There is no doubt that this blighted relationship harms national security."

Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had originally said they would install a new chief of staff within 60 days, with the current second-in-command, Major-General Yair Naveh, standing in for Ashkenazi. The Ganz announcement suggested a far quicker pace.

"The prime minister and defence minister see great importance, at this time, to eliminating the uncertainty over the appointment of the chief of staff and stabilising the military apparatus," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Breaking with an Israeli tradition of sparing the military chief public censure, Barak had accused Ashkenazi of unspecified ethical and professional misconduct "of the highest order".

The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said in an unsourced report that Barak soured on Ashkenazi after the general told U.S. counterparts that Israel had "no military option" for denying Iran the means to make a nuclear bomb.
Other media have speculated the men fell out over procedural disputes or simple dislike. Ashkenazi has denied wrongdoing.

A former commander of Israel's airborne commando regiment, Ganz, 52, also oversaw forces on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts and served as defence attache in Washington.
 

Date created : 2011-02-06

COMMENT(S)