Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi on Friday
rejected claims of wrongdoing on his part in the so-called Harpaz affair, amid
speculation that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein may open a criminal probe
into the scandal.
Ashkenazi said he fully supported a more comprehensive
review of the issues, “particularly the erasing of recordings of conversations
held in the defense minister’s office as well as regarding the question of who
really is behind the ‘Harpaz Document.’” He said that State Comptroller Micha
Lindenstrauss received all of the recordings of relevant conversations that took
place in IDF offices but that when similar recordings were requested of Defense
Minister Ehud Barak, they had been mistakenly erased.
authorities have the ability to clarify the facts regarding the conduct of all
those involved,” Ashkenazi said.
Also on Friday, Military Advocate-
General Brig.-Gen. Danny Efroni asked Lindenstrauss to turn over all of the
material collected during the state comptroller’s review of the affair, to see
if there were any criminal implications from the perspective of the
The Harpaz affair is named for Lt. Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a
former Military Intelligence officer who allegedly forged a document detailing a
strategy for how to get former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav
Galant appointed as chief of staff in place of Ashkenazi. Barak wanted Galant
for the post, while Ashkenazi was believed to have wanted a fifth year in the
job for himself.
The document was leaked in 2010 to Channel 2 and was
later discovered to have been forged. While Galant was tapped by the government
as the next chief of staff, he ultimately lost out on the appointment due to an
unconnected land affair involving his home in Moshav Amikam.
State Comptroller’s Report on the matter has yet to be released but a leak from
the draft version raises serious questions regarding the interaction between the
defense minister and the IDF chief of staff.
What is unclear, though, is
what set off the war between Barak and Ashkenazi – one that has led Barak to
accuse Ashkenazi of leading a “coup” attempt along with several of the officers
who worked closely with him, and trying to undermine the government’s authority
over the IDF.Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.