Dr Mike Evans

Netanyahu announces new IDF leader, thanks previous chief in ceremony

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, this morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, met with outgoing IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and incoming IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, and members of their families, before the official handover ceremony.

Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked outgoing Chief-of-Staff Kochavi for his 40 years of service in the IDF and wished incoming Chief-of-Staff Halevi success in his new position.

“Only someone who has served as IDF Chief-of-Staff knows the responsibility that the Chief-of-Staff bears. Our assumption that everything is already in place here, that everything is certain and complete – this is not the case,” Netanyahu said.

“There is a certain apprehension in our existence and at the end of the day we live here thanks to the IDF, without which there is no existence,” he added.

Last week, Netanyahu visited IDF Northern Command headquarters in a defense assessment with Gallant where he again thanked him for his service and saw the military’s efforts firsthand.

“I am here visiting IDF Northern Command with the Defense Minister and the commanders. The main enemy that we face is the terrorist regime in Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon. We are determined to fight Iran’s attempts to develop a nuclear arsenal,” the prime minister said last week.

“We are determined to fight any attempt by Iran to entrench militarily in Syria on our northern border. We are determined to fight any attempt by Hezbollah to show aggression against us in Lebanon. Whoever needs a reminder about our red lines on this matter will receive it,” he added.

The transition is one of many leadership changes as Netanyahu begins the first full month as prime minister of Israel.