File: Major General Herzi Halevi, then commander of IDF Southern Command, speaks at a conference in Jerusalem on March 7, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The appointment of Halevi, who is deputy to outgoing chief of general staff Aviv Kohavi, will be discussed by an advisory committee in the coming days before the government gives its approval, Gantz’s office said.
Halevi is due to take up his new post in February next year, the defense ministry told AFP, after Kohavi’s term ended.
Gantz considered Halevi “the most suitable officer” for the job because of his “extensive operational experience in various theaters of operations” and his “command abilities and attitude to various military issues”, said the Department of Defense in a statement.
Born in Jerusalem in 1967 to a religious family, Halevi was drafted in 1985 as a paratrooper and served in various command positions before joining the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit in 1993, according to the IDF website. .
He served as commander of Sayeret Matkal for three years from 2001, then continued to rise through the ranks, becoming head of military intelligence in 2014 and head of southern command in 2018, the army said.
Halevi holds degrees in philosophy and business management from Hebrew University and a master’s degree in resource management from National Defense University in Washington, according to the Army’s website.
Married with four children, Halevi lives in Kfar Haoranim, a community that is part settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid hailed the decision to appoint Halevi, calling it a “dignified and natural choice”.
“I am certain that he will lead the IDF (the military) to many important achievements,” Lapid said in a statement.