Before the plane flying Israel’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Aviv Kochavi to Washington for strategic talks even landed, the newly formed Israeli government under the leadership of Naftali Bennett approved a proposed draft decision to extend his term for another year.
This means Gen. Kochavi will continue to serve as the Chief of General Staff until January 2023.
It is noteworthy that the draft decision was proposed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who confirmed that extending Gen. Kochavi’s term is “the correct thing to do for the security of Israel.”
“I welcome the fact that this was my first decision as defense minister that was submitted to the government meeting today,” said the defense minister at the new government’s first practical session.
Gen. Kochavi had left for the US on Sunday for his first official visit to the states. His trip is set to last for seven days. During that time, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Eyal Zamir will stand in as his substitute.
It is worth noting that the Israeli government approved Gen.Kochavi not only meeting with US military officials but also talking to political leadership in Washington, like Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and perhaps even President Joe Biden.
Gen. Kochavi is expected to tackle both military and security concerns as well as political issues like the Iran nuclear deal, which Israel strongly opposes based on reliable sources confirming that what is being negotiated in Geneva is worse than the 2015 agreement.
“He will discuss various common security challenges, foremost of which is the Iranian nuclear threat,” said a military source speaking under the conditions of anonymity.
According to the source, Gen. Kochavi will also tackle Iran’s military ambitions in the Middle East, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia’s re-armament efforts and activity in Syria, and the dangers of precision-guided missiles.
Moreover, Gen. Kochavi will likely carry the Israeli army’s request concerning compensation for the weapons and ammunition lost during the last war on Gaza.