Israel's former army chief Gadi Eisenkot said on Sunday that he is joining a new party headed by Defence Minister Benny Gantz ahead of a general election in November.
Recent media reports had said that Eisenkot, chief of staff from 2015 to 2019, was being courted by political parties including Prime Minister Yair Lapid's centrist Yesh Atid.
But on Sunday Eisenkot announced he will join forces with Gantz, himself a former army chief, and Justice Minister Gideon Saar to form the new centre-right "National Unity Party", or Hamahane Hamamlachti in Hebrew.
"I served the State of Israel as a fighter and commander," said Eisenkot in a televised speech Sunday. "After completing the cooling off period required by law, I decided to take action and not sit on the sidelines."