Israel’s cabinet officially confirmed Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi—former head of military intelligence and the Northern command, and current deputy chief of staff—as Israel’s 22nd Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff.

Kochavi will replace current IDF Chief Gadi Eizenkot, who is due to retire on Jan. 1.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called Kochavi a “fearless warrior, a moral commander, experienced and the most suitable person for the position of chief of staff during this sensitive period.”

Kochavi was appointed by then-defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, who made the move while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was out of the country; Netanyahu announced last Thursday that he had chosen former military secretary Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir for the position.

Kochavi, 54, has a wife and three daughters, and holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hebrew University, a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, and a second master’s in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.