Defense Minister Yoav Galant announced Monday that he has appointed Major General (ret.) Eyal Zamir as Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defense.
Zamir was announced in June 2022 as one of three candidates for then-Defense Minister Benny Gantz to appoint the 23rd IDF Chief of Staff, along with Herzi Halevi – Israel’s incoming IDF chief of staff — and Yoel Strick.
The former IDF deputy chief of staff will begin the role in the coming weeks following a transition of power procedure with outgoing ministry Director General Major General (ret.) Amir Eshel, and after completing the appointment procedure and obtaining government approval.
Zamir, 57, served in the IDF for 38 years in various senior combat and command positions. After graduating from the IDF Junior Command Preparatory Boarding School, he began his military career in the Armored Corps in multiple command roles as a soldier and young officer during the first and second intifadas.
He served, among other positions, as a reserves Armored Corps commander, Commander of the 7th Armored Brigade, Commander of the 143rd Reserves Division, and Commander of the 36th Division.
Zamir later served as the Commander of the Ground Forces and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s military secretary between 2012-2015.
He then served as the Head of the Southern Command, where he led the efforts to thwart offensive terror tunnels penetrating from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory and the fight against the riots on the Gaza border that began in April 2018.
During 2018-2021, Zamir served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. During this period, he coordinated the implementation of the “Tnufa” multi-year plan and managed all military aid to the civilian sector during the COVID-19 epidemic and Operation “Guardian of the Walls”.
Zamir has a bachelor’s degree from Tel Aviv University in political science, a master’s degree in national security and political science from Haifa University, and is a graduate of Wharton University’s GMP- General Management Program.
“Zamir is one of the best IDF commanders of this generation. His service track record is impressive, and he has excelled in all his positions,” Galant said in announcing the appointment.
“I have known Eyal for many years as an outstanding commander and a high-quality leader: brave, level-headed, professional, and good-natured. I am convinced that his familiarity with the defense establishment will allow him to quickly integrate into the position.”
Galant also thanked outgoing ministry director-general Major General (ret.) Amir Eshel, “an esteemed officer, pilot, and former Air Force Commander,” he said.
“Amir has served the State of Israel in a unique way throughout many years of personal contribution.”
Galant said Eshel carried out his duties as director-general of the ministry with “professionalism and dedication,” saying he “deserves gratitude and deep appreciation for his achievements to advance the defense establishment on all levels.”
Eshel said in his own statement that he and Zamir “have known each other and have worked together for many years. I wish him great success and will be at his disposal.”
Zamir thanked Galant for his “trust” and said he looks forward to their joint work.
“We will cooperate to strengthen the IDF, defense organizations, the defense industry, and Israeli society. I look forward to working with the people of the Ministry of Defense. After many years of working with them, I know them to be dedicated professionals led by a common mission.”