Middle East
Israel confirms new army chief
Gabi Ashkenazi is confirmed as Israeli army chief of staff.
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2007 15:19 GMT
Ashkenazi is widely considered
to be a safe pair of hands [AP]
The Israeli cabinet has confirmed Major-General Gabi Ashkenazi as Israel's new army chief of staff.
The 52-year old replaces Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz, who resigned after heavy criticism of Israel's war with Lebanon last summer.
Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, said at the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting: "Gabi [Ashkenazi] is a valuable commander who has proven reliable.
"There is no doubt that he will be able to lead the [Israeli army], confront the challenges facing the army and ensure the safety of Israel."
He was widely seen as a safe candidate to replace Halutz.
Elite brigade
Ashkenazi's appointment comes ahead of the preliminary findings, expected in the coming weeks, of a government-appointed panel examining the handling of the war by Israeli leaders and military commanders.
He is currently director-general of the defence ministry and was not in uniform during the 34 days of fighting in which about 1,200 Lebanese and 157 Israelis were killed.
Ashkenazi joined the elite Golani infantry brigade in 1972, rising through the ranks to become its commander in 1986.
In 1976 he took part in a raid that rescued Jewish passengers taken hostage after an Air France flight was hijacked and flown to Entebbe, Uganda.
He was wounded in 1978 in a military operation in Lebanon.
He was named commander of Israel's northern military region in 1998 and deputy chief of staff in 2002.
He resigned from that post three years later when Halutz was given the top job, and moved to the defence ministry.
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.