Former IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu ended his defamation lawsuit against Ilan Shiloah for publishing allegedly defamatory material about Benayahu in relation to the Harpaz Affair, it was announced Tuesday.

Besides Shiloah, the other three defendants – the McCann Erickson advertising agency where Shiloah is chairman, as well as Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz – had been removed from the case recently when Shiloah took personal responsibility for originating the information that led to all of the published items about Benayahu.

The settlement did not provide for Shiloah to formally apologize or fully withdraw his statements about Benayahu, but he did admit that Benayahu had not been involved in creating the Harpaz document at the heart of the Harpaz Affair.

In addition, while Shiloah is not paying Benayahu damages, he did agree to pay NIS 50,000 as a contribution to the IDF.

The settlement ends a major spin-off case of the criminal investigations into the Harpaz Affair, which could have led to former defense minister Ehud Barak and former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi testifying against each other in court in December.

In mid-August, Ashkenazi and Barak traded barbs over Barak’s recent accusations, by affidavit submitted to the court in the same case, that Ashkenazi led a group of IDF officers in illegal actions to undermine the political echelon.

The Harpaz Affair started with Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, who has admitted to forging a document to undermine Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, Barak’s original choice to succeed Ashkenazi as IDF chief of staff.

It metastasized to represent years of infighting between Ashkenazi and Barak over a range of issues, including a massive and shocking report by former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss (technically completed by his current successor Joseph Shapira), and only recently led to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ordering a full state investigation into whether Ashkenazi violated any civilian laws.

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