Maj. Gen. Tamir Heiman was appointed Israeli head of the Military Intelligence Directorate in an official ceremony on Wednesday, replacing Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi who now serves as Commander of the IDF’s Southern Command. The new appointments to the 2018 General Staff were approved in November last year by IDF Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot who will end his term as Chief of Staff this year.
Eizenkot made a speech at the ceremony in which he emphasized the significance of the Military Intelligence and the complex environment that it has to maneuver in. “The replacement ceremony of the head of intelligence, a few weeks into Israel’s 70th year, is a very significant event for the IDF,” Eizenkot said.
“In recent years we have seen many changes and transformations in the Middle East. The map of threats is changing frequently and we are required to adapt to changes and challenges in the immediate and distant environment, such as Iran, which continues to try to establish its hold on Syria.”
Eizenkot went on to praise the work of Halevi who served as head of the Military Intelligence for three and a half years. “You have assumed your position responsibly, wisely and courageously, thus ensuring the strength of the intelligence effort in a long and hidden line of processes that are an inseparable part of the strength of the Israel Defense Forces,” Eizenkot said.
“There are many challenges waiting for you in your position as commander of the Southern Command.” Addressing the new head of intelligence, Eizenkot had no doubt as to the capabilities of the new head of intelligence. “Now the weighty responsibility is in your hands, Tamir. The strategic level and senior command are well known to you and I have no doubt that you will perform the sensitive and unique role in your path. I know that the Military Intelligence is required for your wisdom, sharpness and quiet and powerful work.”
The new head of intelligence responded to Eizenkot’s speech by echoing the complexities of the region and said that the rate of change in the region is “unprecedented”: “This is a great privilege and a great responsibility. The reality in the Middle East is complex and constantly changing. Although it is reasonable to assume that this sentence was said by each of the heads of the intelligence department … I find it more correct today when the rate of change and its intensity are unprecedented.”
Heiman went on to praise his predecessor, Halevi, and wished him success in his new position as Commander of the IDF’s Southern Command, which was established in 1948 under the command of Major General Yigal Allon.