As Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot finished his tenure, top Israeli officials joined in a farewell celebration in his honor.

“Gadi, tremendous work has been done in the IDF under your command, and we still have much work ahead,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the ceremony at IDF Kirya Headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“On Tuesday, you are concluding 40 years of devoted service in the Israel Defense Forces and four years as chief of staff,” said Netanyahu. “During that time, we’ve thwarted many threats posed to the State of Israel. … If we work to protect our country with all our might, we can avoid an all-out war, but if necessary, the IDF can face this challenge, Israel’s citizens will face this challenge, and together we will ensure the Jewish state’s eternal existence.”

“We take leave of you today as IDF Chief of Staff, our military leader and defender of our walls,” said Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. “Soldier, commander, statesman, modest, brave, responsible, a first-rate strategist and a people person. Over the last four years, there were no wars, but the IDF under your command never ceased fighting.”

Rivlin also wished incoming IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi success.

“The IDF is getting an excellent chief of staff,” he said. “You are among the best of our people, the best of our commanders. Your success is our success, and we trust you. … I, like all Israelis, have faith in you. Good luck to you both, and bless you all.”