[QODLink]
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.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.