Despite the turmoil surrounding the appointment of Israel’s next chief of staff, the Jewish state’s army continues to be strong, Army Chief Gabi Ashkenazi said Wednesday in his first comment on the situation
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided not to appoint Yoav Galant as the next army chief due to alleged misdeeds in respect to real estate issues involving his central Israel home.
Speaking to the IDF Disabled Veterans Organization, Ashkenazi said that the current situation was unusual and a “sad period.” However, he added that “the IDF is stronger than the processes surrounding it.”
“We continue to hold situation assessments, and only yesterday I attended a drill in the south,” the outgoing army chief said. “Our security is entrusted in professional hands.”
“I’m leaving behind a powerful, deterring, professional army that is moral, normative, and understands the responsibility,” he said.
With ongoing riots in Egypt in the backdrop, Ashkenazi added that “peace is a strategic asset, and the Egyptian military is responsible and is making an effort to stabilize the situation.”
Earlier Wednesday, Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni slammed Israel’s leaders for not extending Ashkenazy’s term despite the turmoil, instead appointing Major-General Yair Naveh as an interim chief of staff.
“Even the greatest madness needs some kind of logic,” she said.
“If there’s a reason that prevents us from doing the obvious thing and extending the current chief of staff’s term…it would be proper to present this reason,” Livni said, charging that the failure to extend Ashkenazi’s term has to do with vengeful Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s anger over his ongoing conflict with Ashkenazi.