Mofaz calls Barak before FADC to testify over Ashkenazi

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense C'tee chairman decides to question defense minister over ethical issues surrounding IDF chief.

February 4, 2011 17:31
1 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Ehud Barak 521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz on Friday decided to call Defense Minister Ehud Barak to testify before the committee next week over the ethical issues preventing IDF Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi from continuing in his post until a replacement is found.

On Thursday, Barak continued to lash out at Ashkenazi, a day after accusing the army chief of ethical and professional flaws.

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The tension between the two top defense officials has increased amid calls by politicians and public figures to extend Ashkenazi’s term as chief of staff beyond his scheduled retirement on February 14 and until the cabinet appoints a suitable successor.

Barak has decided not to extend Ashkenazi’s term and is insisting on bringing a proposal to appoint Maj.-Gen.

Yair Naveh, Ashkenazi’s deputy, to serve as the interim army chief until he selects a permanent candidate. If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not intervene beforehand, the proposal will be voted on during the cabinet’s weekly session on Sunday.

In the latest round of conflict, Barak’s office on Thursday accused Ashkenazi of trying to help Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, the alleged forger of the so-called Galant Document, to flee the country.

The story, first reported by Army Radio, began several weeks ago when Harpaz submitted a request to the Defense Ministry for permission to travel to Venezuela for business.

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