Brig. Gen. Benny Ganz was appointed today Commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, in a ceremony held at the Judea & Samaria Division Headquarters. Brig. Gen. Ganz is replacing General Shlomo Oren who requested to end his tenure following the incident in the village of Asira A-Shimalie, in which three soldiers of the “Duvdevan” unit were killed by friendly fire.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the CO Central Command, Maj. Gen. Yitzhak Eitan, commanders of the Judea & Samaria Brigades and representatives of the security forces and the Israel Police. Brig. Gen. Ganz said that he is not pleased by the appointment in light of the circumstances which brought it about. Brig. Gen. Ganz added:

“I was called upon to take an operational position. Since we stand in the midst of a sensitive period, crucial in the history of the country of Israel, there is no arguing the importance that lies in accepting that position. I wish to express great appreciation to General Oren’s noble act and the noble norm of command he followed.”

Retiring commander, Brigadier General Shlomo Oren, said that following the death of the three “Duvdevan” soldiers, he felt it would be right to accept command responsibility, “this is the way I was raised and built as a person and as a commander”

GOC Central Command, Maj. Gen. Itzhak Eitan, said: “I have the fullest appreciation to General Oren for the courage and taking of responsibility. In the six months General Oren commanded the division, he has left his mark in a significant way and I wish to thank him for that. We all bow our heads in memory of Roy Even (Filshteiner), Niv Yaacobi and Liron Sharvit.

In times of crisis, people are called upon to do things in the best way possible. I have no doubt in my mind that General Beni Ganz is the right person to lead the division forward.”