(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

The Chief of the IDF General Staff, Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, has sent a letter of resignation to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense.

Lt.-Gen. Halutz has clarified that his responsibility as a commander and as the head of the IDF staff are what led him to remain in duty until the investigations are completed and the 2007 work plan is oriented around the lessons learned.

Now that this process has completed, the chief of staff has asked to resign immediately.

The Chief of Staff addresses the General Staff

This morning the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz, assembled the IDF General Staff and updated them on his decision to resign from his position.

The Chief of Staff stated that he decided to end his service after completing the process of investigating and drawing conclusions from the war with Hezbollah, and after completing the IDF 2007 work plan.

The Chief of Staff emphasized that all eyes are now on the General Staff and, as such, it is important that its members convey a sense of stability in their behavior and conduct.

"We face many missions and challenges, as our soldiers and commanders continue their mission to protect and defend the citizens of Israel," the Chief of Staff said in the meeting. "I have no intension of packing up my desk and leaving in a rush. I intend to ensure an orderly transition for my replacement."

The Chief of Staff ended on a personal note: "I have completed an important and significant chapter which will assist the IDF to better perform its missions. I trust the members of the General Staff- they are a quality group of people and I have no doubt that we all will continue to be guided by our sense of duty and responsibility. I am certain that the IDF, with its commanders and soldiers, is a strong army that will continue to carry out the missions it is assigned at any given time."