Tension is growing within the top echelons of the defense establishment ahead of
the planned distribution next week of the state comptroller’s report on the
so-called Harpaz affair to the IDF officer and Defense Ministry officials
The Harpaz document – named for the alleged forger Boaz Harpaz
– was a paper that detailed a strategy on how to get former OC Southern Command
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff.
appointed to the post but in the end lost the job over a land scandal he was
involved in at his home in Moshav Amikam.
Former IDF chief of staff Lt.-
Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, who received the document, showed it to several
other generals, including current Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and former
OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, who is in the running to become
When Harpaz was first identified as the alleged forger of
the document, Ashkenazi denied that he had a prior relationship with the former
lieutenant-colonel from Military Intelligence, which is also being probed to see
if Harpaz misused his position there – with or without his superiors’ knowledge
– to do business while in active service.
In recent months, however,
reports have claimed that Harpaz was a close confidant of Ashkenazi and even
that the former IDF chief used him as a mole in Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s
The report is expected to criticize Ashkenazi for his handling of
the report and his failure to bring it to Barak or even the military
Instead, Ashkenazi kept it in his desk drawer until its
existence was revealed on Channel 2.
Barak is also expected to come under
fire in State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’s report due to the hostile
relationship he maintained with Ashkenazi.
Gantz has told colleagues in
the General Staff that he is anxiously waiting for the report to be published so
the IDF can “move on” and finally put the affair behind.
Ashkenazi will come out clean,” a senior IDF officer said recently about the
expected report. “Nothing he did was out of malice. He tried to do the best for
the IDF under the circumstances of his relationship with
Lindenstrauss is expected to send a first draft of the report to
the people questioned during the probe. They will then have a number of weeks to
formulate and submit responses, following which the final draft will be released
to the public.