The Israeli government on Sunday appointed Major General Herzi Halevi, a former military intelligence head who led forces along the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, as the country’s next military chief.
Halevi, 54, who serves as deputy to outgoing Chief of General Staff Aviv Kochavi, will take charge of Israel’s armed forces on January 17, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement.
Halevi’s appointment at the end of Kochavi’s term comes as Israel has stepped up deadly raids in the occupied West Bank and just months after at least 49 Palestinians were killed in three days of intense Israeli bombardment targeting Gaza.
His nomination was approved less than two weeks before Israelis head to the polls on November 1, in the country’s fifth election in less than four years.
Halevi was enlisted in 1985 as a paratrooper and advanced in various command positions before joining the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit in 1993, according to the Israeli army.
He served as commander of Sayeret Matkal for three years from 2001 and then continued to climb the ranks, becoming head of military intelligence in 2014 and head of the southern command in 2018, the army said.
Halevi lives in Kfar Haoranim, a community that is partially an illegal settlement in the West Bank.
The West Bank has seen more than 120 Palestinians killed following Israeli aggression this year, according to the Palestinian health ministry – the heaviest toll in the area since 2015.
(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)