(photo credit: Courtesy)
Police confiscated equipment and documents from political strategist Eyal Arad’s
Tel Aviv office on Monday, three days after Channel 2 reported that Arad had
written a controversial document advising OC Southern Command
Yoav Galant to besmirch his rivals in the race to be the next
IDF chief of General Staff.
to be probed promptly
Lahav 433 Unit officers, headed by Cmdr.
David Mantzur, took equipment and documents from Arad’s office, checked
computers, and spoke to staff. Arad was questioned by police when he filed a
forgery complaint with them on Sunday.
“I promised to give the police any
information that I have, and I am keeping that promise,” he said. “The police
and I both have an interest in expediting the investigation to allow them to
find whoever forged the document as soon as possible. This crime was committed
against me and hurts my business. It’s not good for a communications office to
be put in this position, which I was put in against my will.”
from Lahav 433 opened an urgent investigation on Sunday to determine whether the
document was a forgery. Police spokespeople have been ordered not to comment on
the investigation, due to its sensitivity.
But one law enforcement source
told The Jerusalem Post
that the investigation was “dynamic,” and that while
detectives were currently concentrating on figuring out whether the document was
authentic or not, “other suspicions” could crop up in the course of the
“Right now, the focus of the investigation is the
But additional suspicions could develop,” the source said.
“This won’t necessarily end with the document.”
The source would not
discuss what other potential suspicions police were anticipating
The investigation is being closely monitored by the head of the
police’s Investigations Branch, Cmdr. Yoav Saglovitch, and Israel Police
David Cohen. Police will present their findings to Attorney
General Yehuda Weinstein.Warrant issued to Channel 2 to hand over document
The next steps for police include questioning
senior IDF officers and the two Channel 2 reporters who broke the story, Amnon
Abramovitch and Roni Daniel. A warrant was issued on Monday evening to receive the reporters’ copy of
the document, which they claim they received from a secret
Channel 2 news has refused to submit the document to police or to
reveal the source, but Abramovitch said he was looking forward to
“Every word in the document can be revealed and handed over,
but not the document itself,” a Channel 2 official said.
ordered the police to expedite the inquiry due to its sensitivity. He told
Defense Minister Ehud Barak that meanwhile, he could continue interviewing
candidates to replace Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in
February, but he could not announce his decision. Barak had intended to make the
announcement within a month.
The members of the General Staff, which
include three candidates for army chief, convened in Tel Aviv on Monday for
their regular meeting, which was described as tense.
Avi Benayahu said the work of the Defense Ministry and the
army must go on, despite the scandal and the investigation.
for the first time that there was tension between Barak and Ashkenazi, but said
there were other defense ministers and chiefs of General Staff who had had worse
“Whether the document was fabricated or not, it could damage
the trust the public has in the IDF, which is its greatest asset,” Benayahu
said. “We want this cloud removed as soon as possible.”
When asked by
Army Radio whether he would agree to take a polygraph test as a possible
suspect, Benayahu avoided the question but said that “the IDF would cooperate
with the police investigation and any requests that the police may have.”