Yoav Galant .
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Moshe Kahlon is expected to add Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant as the sixth member of his Koolanu list on Thursday, when the two will appear at a joint press conference in Ramat Gan.
Galant, the former head of OC Southern command, nearly became chief of staff in 2011 but a controversy known as the Harpaz affair prevented him for being appointed. The affair, a mudslinging battle between then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak and outgoing chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, led to reports of plans to improperly advance Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant to become the next IDF
The incriminating document, written by Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, turned out to be a forgery. In September, police recommended indicting Ashkenazi on minor, but related charges. Galant was also swept up in accusations that he illegally appropriated land near his home in Moshav Amakim, charges from which he has mostly been cleared.
In September, Galant's name was floated again to replace Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who got the job following the scandal. Gantz will step down in February, and will be replaced by Gadi Eisenkot.
Galant, who started in the navy and worked his way through several branches of the IDF, including the Jenin brigade and Gaza division, was an ally of Ariel Sharon when he was Prime Minister. He took over OC Southern Command after the 2005 disengagement from Gaza and directed Operation Cast Lead against Hamas there three years later. Galant favored pushing further into Gaza during that operation, and sparred with Ashkenazi over the strategy.
Galant will be the strongest security element on the Koolanu list, which has enlisted former Ambassador Michael Oren for his diplomatic standing, Eli Alalouf for his anti-poverty platform, education Maven Dr. Yifat Sassa-Biton and family rights activist Rachel Azaria.