GABI ASHKENAZI: ARMS AND THE MAN
Gabi Ashkenazi, 53, was born at Moshav Hagur, near Petah Tikvah. His father was a Holocaust survivor while his mother was born in Syria. The father-of-two has a BA in political science and a management qualification from Harvard University. Conscripted to the Golani brigade in 1972, he fought in the Yom Kippur War and in 1976 took part in the Entebbe raid. Wounded in 1978, he was back in uniform by the 1982 Lebanon war. In 1986 he was appointed commander of the Golani brigade and in 1996 promoted to major-general. In 1998 he was appointed Northern Front commander and oversaw Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon. In October 2000, three soldiers were captured and killed on the Lebanese border, but an committee of inquiry cleared Mr Ashkenazi of any blame for the incident, and he was appointed deputy chief-of-staff in 2002. In June 2005 he lost out to Dan Halutz for the post of chief-ofgeneral staff and left the army. In July 2006 he was appointed director-general of the defence ministry.