Israel appoints Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, ‘Dahiyeh doctrine’ architect as new military chief of staff

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Israel appoints Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, ‘Dahiyeh doctrine’ architect as new military chief of staff
The Daily Star

Nov. 30, 2014

BEIRUT: The military general who served as the head of operations during Israel’s 2006 assault on Lebanon has been named as the next military chief of staff, local media reported over the weekend.

Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, who was behind the so-called “Dahiyeh doctrine” – carpet bombing densely populated urban areas, will replace Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, whose four-year term ends in February 2015.

Dahiyeh refers to Beirut’s southern suburbs which were reduced to rubble during Israel’s 34-day-long attack on Lebanon, which killed more than 1,200 people, the overwhelming majority of them civilians.

In a 2008 interview, Eisenkot declared that if a new war with Hezbollah was to erupt, “what happened in the Dahiyeh quarter in Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on.”

“We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there,” he was quoted as saying by Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Eisenkot said that the abovementioned strategy “is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has been approved,” while noting that from his standpoint, “these are not civilian villages, they are military bases.”

Eisenkot was put in charge of the northern command, which is responsible for the border with Lebanon, after the end of the 2006 war, during which he demonstrated “level-headedness,” according to colleagues.

The appointment is subject to government approval.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon called Eisenkot the best choice to face Israel’s “complex security challenges.”

Replacing him as new deputy chief of staff will be Major General Yair Golan, currently head of the northern command, Yaalon added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Eisenkot was “selected from an excellent group of generals” and wished him luck.

The 54-year-old began his military service as an infantryman in the Golani Brigade, rising through the ranks to command it.

He was military secretary to premier and defense minister Ehud Barak between 2009 and 2011, during which Israeli media reported he was involved in negotiations with Syria.

Eisenkot was later appointed commander of the occupied West Bank, before becoming head of the operations directorate and eventually northern command chief from 2006 to 2011. -With agencies