Outgoing spokesperson Ronen Manelis filled the position for two and a half years.
By World Israel News Staff
On Sunday, Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman took up his new position of IDF Spokesperson. Zilberman is replacing Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, who served in the position for the last two and a half years.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi appointed Zilberman to the post on June 13, 2019.
He was to have taken up his post earlier in the month but due to tensions on the northern border it was decided to delay his promotion until tensions had subsided.
Zilberman tweeted after the ceremony:
“To-do list immediately upon completion of the induction ceremony:
1. Change into [less formal] B Uniforms.
2. Call Manelis, my friend and brother in arms, to thank him for his exceptional service.
3. Tweet on Twitter. Proud to be the IDF spokesman.”
Zilberman wasn’t Kochavi’s first choice for the position. The chief of staff had originally pegged Gil Messing for the role. But Messing was forced to step down as the candidate in May following reports that he acted as a kind of police agent in a corruption investigation into political party Israel Beiteinu.
In a letter to Kochavi at the time, Messing said that his “good name” had been dragged through the mud by allegations and rumors against him in the matter of his service to the police.
In 2014, Messing was recruited to secretly record his friend, media consultant Ronen Moshe, as part of an investigation against Moshe on suspicion of bribery and money laundering, the Globes reported in May.
Kochavi defended his decision to select Messing, with whom he’d worked in the past when the latter was a member of the IDF Spokesperson’s Office.
The chief of staff said that Messing was a first-rate professional and regrettably accepted his decision to reject the offer of IDF Spokesperson.