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Israel names new army chief

world Updated: Aug 23, 2010 10:06 IST

Major General Yoav Galant was named Sunday as Israel's next army chief of staff, Xinhua reported.

Current Army Chief Of Staff Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi will step down in February next year.

Galant is presently the southern command chief of the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

"It is the right move in order to bring stable functioning back to the army's senior echelon," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Defence Minister Ehud Barak announced his decision of the 20th army chief.

Barak said he will bring the decision for government approval at the next cabinet session.

Galant, 52, began his military career as a commando and officer in the "Shayetet 13" naval special operations unit. The highly-regarded seaborne unit raided a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May.