In his first appointment as Israel's defense minister, Benny Gantz named Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel, former commander of the Israeli Air Force, as the new director-general of the ministry.
Eshel served in the IAF for four decades, rising through the ranks to become Israel's 17th air force chief. He held the post from 2012-2017, longer than any of his predecessors since 1973. Eshel was at the helm of the IAF during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, Operation Protective Edge in 2014, and a wide range of other operations. The senior officer also oversaw key arms deals such as Israel's acquisition of the F-35 fighter from the US.
Following his retirement in 2017, Eshel served on the board of directors of Bird Aerosystems, a producer of advanced airborne missile protection systems.
He has served as an advisor to Gantz for the past year, and accompanied him to Washington in January 2020 for a meeting with US President Donald Trump.
Eshel will officially become director general in the coming days, replacing Maj. Gen. (Res.) Udi Adam who is stepping down after four years in the post.