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New Israeli chief of staff vows to strengthen army's attack capabilities

The new Chief of Staff of the Israel army vowed on Tuesday that he will dedicate himself to strengthen its attack capabilities, local media have reported.

"I commit to dedicating all my energy, with a critical and demanding approach, to strengthening our defensive wall, to training for present and future threats," explained Aviv Kochavi. "This will focus upon strengthening our attack capabilities towards our enemies, and presenting an army that is deadly, efficient and modern, that preserves its mission and its uniqueness."

During the official ceremony at the Ministry of Defence to confirm his appointment, Kochavi described the role as "an honour" which he takes on "with sacred reverence." He thanked his parents for giving him a "moral compass" as well as others deserving of his gratitude over the years.

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Kochavi enlisted in the Israeli army in 1982 and joined the parachute brigade. He went on to command the military intelligence directorate and then headed the northern command of the Israel Defence Forces. In May 2017, he was promoted to deputy chief of staff; his appointment to the top job in the IDF was approved by the Israeli Cabinet in October.

Analysts say that the new Chief of Staff faces four challenges: the repositioning of Iran in Syria; Hamas in Gaza Strip; the unstable domestic situation in Israel, including corruption charges against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the Defence portfolio; and a sharp decline in the inclination of young Israelis to enlist in the armed forces.

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