Israel’s cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of a new army chief of staff, according to a government source.

Aviv Kochavi, a former military intelligence head, will take up his new position at the start of 2019, succeeding General Gadi Eisenkot.

He was selected for the post by now-former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman in October.

Kochavi has served as head of the army’s northern command and as military intelligence chief during the 2014 war against the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas in Gaza.

Kochavi, 54, is a graduate of Harvard and John Hopkins in the United States and holds a degree in international relations.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had welcomed the choice of Kochavi after his selection by Lieberman in October, saying he was “the most worthy candidate” to become the next chief of staff.

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse