New Israeli army chief takes command
Incoming Israel Army Chief of General Staff, Moshe Ya'alon took over command of the Israeli Army Tuesday morning from Lt.-Gen. Shaul Mofaz, becoming the Army’s 17th chief of General Staff.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ya'alon is expected to meet with the members of the General Staff for the first time as their leader. He is due to lay out his vision for where he expects to take the Israeli army during his tenure.
In his farewell speech, Mofaz thanked the Isrsaeli army’s officers and his soldiers. Ya'alon said in his speech that he understood the complexity of the diplomatic-security situation and that it "created challenging and unique personal and national situations."
Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer thanked Mofaz for his many years of service, and added that the country still needed him. With regards to Ya'alon, he said that in spite of facing a tough choice in choosing Mofaz's successor, after the choice had been made it was fully supported by all parties.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hailed Mofaz for his values and for always stating his opinion. He said that Mofaz left behind an "excellent and professional army," and added that he was sure Ya'alon would stand up to the tough challenges facing the country.
In the meantime, growing speculation continues regarding Mofaz's plans for the future. For the moment, he plans to spend some time with his family, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
The change of guard will end with a gala reception Tuesday night, hosted by Ben-Eliezer. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)