Israel’s new military chief has taken office at a ceremony in Tel Aviv and promised an even more “deadly, efficient” response from his troops despite hundreds of protesters killed on the Gaza border over the past year.
Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, 54, was promoted from major-general at the ceremony at the military headquarters, becoming the country’s 22nd military chief.
Kochavi, who served in Israel’s brutal 2014 Gaza war among other campaigns, pledged at the event to focus on
He replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who is retiring after 40 years of service.
Kochavi previously served as commander of military intelligence, chief of northern command and most recently as Eisenkot’s deputy chief of staff.
He also commanded the Gaza division during Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Strip.
In 2006, Kochavi canceled a trip to study at London’s Royal College of Defense Studies following legal advice that he could be arrested on arrival for alleged war crimes committed in Palestinian territories.
Kochavi’s inauguration comes as Israel’s military completed its operation to destroy Hezbollah’s tunnel network from Lebanon, as it appears to be dropping its ambiguity over hundreds of strikes it carried out against Iran in Syria.