Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (C) and incoming IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot prior to a ceremony held in Einzekot’s honour at the PM’s office in Jerusalem, on February 16, 2015.
Posts Tagged ‘IDF’
Gadi Eizenkot officially took over the command of the IDF Monday morning, replacing Benny Gantz in a routine rotation.
Lt. Gen. Eizenkot is a new image for the Israel, one of modesty that is rare in recent years among IDF generals who often are politicians more than they are military officers in their race to please the political echelon and the United States in order to climb the ladder of positions of power.
Eizenkot was a natural candidate to command the IDF several years ago, but he declined.
He is modest, but he also is tough, and as the Jewish Press reported here in November, he is different from other military commanders and is not afraid to speak his mind, even if his thoughts are not politically correct.
He took over the Northern Command after his predecessor quit in 2006 after suffering sharp criticism of his conduct in the 34-day Second Lebanon War that summer, a war which was arguably one of the most embarrassing for Israel in terms of the military’s lack of preparation, poor intelligence, logistic fiascos and loss of life.
Concerning Hezbollah, Eizenkot has said he backs a policy to show “no mercy shown when it comes to hitting the national infrastructure of a state that, in practice, is controlled by terrorist organization Hezbollah.”
On the other hand, Eizenkot is not considered trigger-happy and will not send soldiers into war unless diplomacy does not work, Yediot Acharonot observed when he was nominated for the new post late last year.
But when the army has to hit, it will do it the way it should.
Gantz said in his farewell speech Monday, “You have behind you a professional army, trained, flexible, and prepared for all tasks. Gadi,…take the army in the direction you choose….Praised is the people for whom you command their armed forces. Praised are those who answer “follow me” in carrying out commands.
Eizenkot, 54, lives in Herzliya, next to Tel Aviv. He is married and has five children.
Unnamed Israeli officials have confirmed that Syrian rebels have asked the Netanyahu government to bomb Hezbollah and Iranian positions, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Israel seems to be doing a job of doing so all by itself, but the rebels want the IDF to take a more active role. Israel never has admitted or denied several pre-emptive aerial bombings of weapons and Hezbollah positions.
The Observatory said that Assad, Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards have launched an offense to counter rebel attacks near Damascus.
“Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Deraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces,” the Syrian Observatory said.
Rebels have lost most of northern and eastern Syria to the Islamic State and the Al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. Hezbollah has taken over most of western Syria, bordering Lebanon.
That leaves the south as the rebels’ last stronghold.
“The rebels in the south comprise a diverse array of fighters,” analyst Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi of the Middle East Forum told Voice of America.
The Navy and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) intercepted a boat last January that was on its way to Gaza with materials for manufacturing rockets and mortar shells, according to military spokesmen after a gag order on the counter-terrorist operation was lifted on Wednesday.
The vessel was being used to smuggle liquid fiberglass for building weapons to be launched on Israel. The boat was sailing from off the Sinai Peninsula to a Gaza port. Israel has placed a maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza to prevent the smuggling of weapons and materials for weapons.
Security officials arrested three Arabs who confessed to planning to smuggle the liquid fiberglass for Hamas.
The three suspects were identified as Machmed Bechar, Ahmed Zaidi and Awad Zaidi.
They gave investigators detailed information on previous weapon smuggling activities and told them how Hamas intended to utilize fisherman and smugglers for future smuggling attempts.
That explains why the Navy often fires on those supposedly innocent “fishing boats” that foreign media report were manned by poor Gaza Arabs who can’t make a decent living fishing because the big bad Israeli Navy thinks fishermen are enemies.
They are enemies because they are not fishermen. They are terrorists.
The gag order on the operation was lifted when the men were indicted in a Be’er Sheva court today for involvement in crimes endangering the security of the country.
“The IDF is determined to prevent unlawful attempts to ship weapons and raw materials that may jeopardize the well being of Israelis,” said Lt. Colonel Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman. “This shipment highlights that when Hamas chose to smuggle materials for rockets and mortars, it chose not to invest in the rehabilitation for the people of Gaza.”
At least four hareidi-religious men were arrested Sunday in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim during a demonstration protesting the arrest of a rabbinical student last week. The student refused to comply with his draft notice to enlist in the IDF.
Several hundred demonstrations gathered at the Kikar Shabbat intersection in the neighborhood at about 3 pm. The protest soon escalated, with demonstrators blocking traffic and hurling rocks at police officers who were sent to the scene.
Israel Border Guard police officers were called in to back up Jerusalem District police officers. Extra patrol units have since been deployed to the neighborhood.
A female IDF officer was injured by a landmine explosion on the Golan Heights on Wednesday.
The officer was working near the Syrian border.
The IDF believes that the explosive may have shifted from its original location due to rain over time.
56 Hareidi Yeshiva students were arrested on Monday in mass protests against the arrest of 4 Hareidi draft dodgers the other week.
24 protesters are still being held in jail and the police are asking that their detention be extended, the rest were released.
Four students had files opened against them for violence and arson.
One student is suspected of hitting a policeman in the face with a metal bar.
The Hareidim are protesting against the arrest of 4 Yeshiva students who didn’t show up to the IDF draft office for review after they received their draft notices.
The protests were held in Jerusalem, Ashdod, on Road 444 near El Ad, at the Shilat junction near Modiin Ilit, and at the Bar Ilan bridge near Bnei Brak.
The most violent protest was in Ashdod, where 41 of the 56 students were arrested.