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Amidror front runner for NSA post

Yaakov Amidror, a hawkish former Israeli major-general, who supports reoccupation of Gaza, is the front runner for the post of the country's National Security Adviser, local media reported on Tuesday.

world Updated: Feb 22, 2011 18:44 IST

Yaakov Amidror, a hawkish former Israeli major-general, who supports reoccupation of Gaza, is the front runner for the post of the country's National Security Adviser, local media reported on Tuesday.

Amidror, the former commander of Israel Defence Forces' (IDF) National Defence College, if appointed, would replace Uzi Arad, who announced his retirement on Sunday.

According to the Prime Minister's office, Amidror and former military secretary Meir Kalifi are being considered for the coveted post.

Amidror was the leading candidate while Kalifi's name was only mentioned in order to give the impression that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was deliberating between two candidates, news portal 'Ynetnews' reported quoting sources.

Amidror is considered an experienced military man, however some elements in the political system view him as a "militarist," and are concerned about his combative nature given the fact that the appointment would make him one of the prime minister's closest advisers on sensitive political and security matters.

Considered a hawk on political issues, he is also not likely to encourage progress in negotiations with the Palestinians, according to the report.

"The Israeli interest is to prevent a situation in which the Hamas is strengthened into an entity similar to Hizbullah," Amidror had commented on the situation in the Gaza Strip following Hamas' takeover.

"There should be willingness to stay in the area for many years. If it is not possible to stay in the area – and the goal is to get in and get out – it is better not to get in at all.

The decision makers need to make an extremely difficult decision, because the implication is a difficult war, and an extended stay in the territory," he had said.