Prime Minister Ehud Olmert praised Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday, after the Cabinet’s approval of the new chief of staff.
“I have no doubt that he will lead the IDF to deal with everything it has to deal with, to complete fitness and to essential accomplishments for the security of the State of Israel,” the Prime Minister said.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz has faith the new army chief's term would last four years instead of three like what has happened in the past.
“Four years are a suitable period of time for the chief of staff to leave his impression on the IDF,” Peretz said when giving his decision.
Ashkenazi will officially be appointed on February 14 in a ceremony to replace Dan Halutz.
Ashkenazi, 53, served most of his military career in the Northern Command, but fought with Southern Command soldiers in his early days.
From 1992 to 1994 he headed the army’s administration operations in southern Lebanon and worked closely with Southern Lebanese army officers and in 1998 was appointed Northern Command Chief.
In 2002, Ashkenazi was appointed deputy chief of staff and resigned two years later when he lost to Maj.-Gen. Dan Halutz, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s choice as military chief.
In 2005, he retired from the Israeli army and was appointed director-general of the Ministry of Defense.