Gantz, a former deputy CoS, had been a candidate for the position of
chief of staff last year. But Barak named Galant as the one who would replace
the incumbent, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, scheduled to step down on Feb. 14.
Officials said Gantz, 52, would be vetted by a state committee. They
said Barak had also considered Northern Command chief Maj. Gen. Gadi
Eizenkot, expected to become the next deputy chief of staff. The current
deputy is Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh.
Many in the Cabinet urged Netanyahu to overrule Barak and retain
Ashkenazi for another year. But the prime minister acknowledged that Barak
and Ashkenazi could no longer work together.
On Feb. 6, the Cabinet canceled the nomination of Galant, who plans to
appeal the decision to Israel's High Court. Several ministers criticized
Barak for refusing to extend Ashkenazi's term.
"If the situation got to be that bad, why was the Cabinet not told so we
could decide to fire him?” Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon asked. "Barak's
behavior indicates that he is losing his mind by declaring a war on
Ashkenazi, for which there is no reason. Their relationship harms the
security of the country."