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 involved.

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.

Galant was 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 Gantz’s deputy.

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 office.

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 advocate-general.

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.

“I think 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 Barak.”

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.

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