JERUSALEM, March 17 (Xinhua) -- In view of the ongoing unrest in the Middle East, Israel's defense minister-designate Moshe Ya' alon is mulling to extend the tenure of army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, to a fourth year, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Sunday.
Ya'alon, who will be sworn in as defense minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's third government, seeks to extend Gantz's tenure by one year in order to avoid a shake-up in the military in face of growing threats along the borders, according to the report.
General Gantz, a former paratrooper and veteran of the 1982 Lebanon War, began his third year at the helm of the military last month.
Ya'alon, former chief of staff, failed in 2005 to secure a fourth year in the post from then-Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. Ariel Sharon's government named Maj. Gen. (ret.) Dan Halutz, then- commander of the Israeli Air Force, to succeed Ya'alon in order to oversee the military's evacuation of 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip area.