(photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday that in hindsight he should have shredded the so-called Galant document once he received it from one of his assistants several months ago.
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Speaking on Army Radio, Ashkenazi said that he had full faith in Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s capabilities as the next chief of staff.
“He has all of the skills and experience to take the IDF wherever it needs to go,” Ashkenazi said.
The rare interview with Ashkenazi was part of a day full of special broadcasts on Army Radio in conjunction with the Association for the Well-being of Israel’s Soldiers in an annual fundraising event known as the “Sherutrom.”
Galant, Ashkenazi said, should “expect a great deal of work and challenges that are not simple.” But, he said, his successor “understands his job and is making serious preparations for the new role.”
Asked about the Galant Document, which police said was allegedly forged by Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz in an attempt to win Ashkenazi a fifth year in office, the chief of staff admitted that he had not handled the document correctly and that in retrospect he should have shredded it immediately.
He claimed that from the beginning, he had never suspected that Galant was involved in writing the document, but that its contents had matched some of his feelings at the time – a likely reference to the increased tension several months ago between Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“I get a lot of letters from different people, and usually I shred them,” he said. “That is what I should have done in this case as well.”
Ashkenazi also touched on the recent conviction of two Givati soldiers
for using a Palestinian child as a human shield during Operation Cast
Lead in the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago.
He said the soldiers had acted in violation of IDF war doctrine and that
while he preferred to deal with similar issues administratively and not
criminally, there were exceptional cases that “we are forced to deal
with.” He added that the IDF had never investigated itself the way it
had since the Gaza operation.