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Israelis You Should Know: Gadi Eisenkot

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Name: Gadi Eisenkot

Age: 54

Family: Married with five children.

Known for: Eisenkot has been named the 21st Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He is scheduled to be sworn into this position this Sunday.

His life: Gadi Eisenkot was born in 1960 in Tiberias, a northern Israeli city on the Sea of Galilee. His parents are Jewish Moroccan immigrants, and he has three siblings.

He attended school in Eilat before enlisting in the IDF. He was assigned to the Golani Brigade, an infantry brigade responsible for securing Israel's northern border with Syria and Lebanon. He went on to hold many positions within the IDF - during the First Lebanon War, he served as company commander in the Golani Brigade, and he was named head of the Northern Command in 2006. In 2013, he began serving as the IDF's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Over the years, Eisenkot became recognized as a cool-headed, fair, and insightful officer and commander, even during tense situations, such as the Second Lebanon War.

However, he didn't always plan to dedicate his life to the IDF. "Every year I thought I’d stop but then I signed on for one more year and with the years that accumulated to 33 years in uniform,” he told a local Israeli newspaper in 2011.

On Sunday, Eisenkot is scheduled to be sworn in as the IDF's 21st Chief of Staff, replacing current Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.

About him:  “Gadi has been a soldier and a commander. He is a veteran commander and he can lead the IDF in the face of the major challenges that surround us.” - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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