After all the major candidates for the position of IDF Chief of General Staff were cleared of involvement in the "Galant Affair," Defense Minister Ehud Barak will resume the process of finding a replacement for outgoing Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Friday.
Barak was scheduled to interview the five leading candidates to fill the IDF's top position: OC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisencott, deputy CGS Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi and IDF attache in Washington, Gadi Shamni.
don't need Channel 2's copyAnalysis: ‘In the care of worthy commanders’
The defense minister was also scheduled to meet with Ashkenazi on Friday.
Investigators have confirmed that the “Galant Document,” which has
IDF and the security establishment for two weeks, is a forgery, and are
focusing their probe on tracking down the person who fabricated it,
announced on Thursday evening. A prime suspect, with a military
reportedly been identified.
The document, first made public by Channel 2
on August 6, purported to show that Arad Communications, a public
firm, drew up plans to damage the reputations of senior army officers in
to promote OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s candidacy to
chief of General Staff.
The police investigation has found that the
complaint by Arad Communications, which argued that the document had been made
to appear as if it was composed by the company, is well-founded.
exposed a chain of people who transferred the document,” police said earlier
“There is no basis to suspect Defense Minister Ehud Barak and
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi of being involved in drawing
document,” police said, adding that all of the major candidates for the
of chief of General Staff have also been cleared of involvement.
took the unusual step of publishing information about an investigation
is complete in order to relieve pressure placed on senior IDF
“In the course of an intensive, speedy and professional
investigation, dozens of people, including military officials and
were questioned, and a number of different versions of the document were
seized,” police said.
“During the investigation, several reports were
publicized in the media, some of which were completely lacking in
and which harmed various civilians and army officials, and caused
rumors.”All those questioned in affair passed polygraph tests
All of those questioned about whether they were involved in
producing the document passed polygraph tests when they denied
Ashkenazi lauded the police announcement that no top IDF
officer was involved in forging the Galant Document.
On Thursday, he met
with Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen and was updated on the
“It is now clear that great damage has been caused to the
IDF and that the accusations against the military were baseless,”
said. “I never believed that anyone in the IDF was involved in this
Ashkenazi said that he planned to hold a special meeting of the
General Staff to discuss ways to improve the IDF’s image and restore the
people’s faith in the military.
“We do not have the privilege to stop
even for one moment the work we need to do to be prepared for the
that are still ahead,” he said.
As a result of this finding, Attorney-
General Yehuda Weinstein told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
there was now no legal obstacle preventing them from choosing the next
“In view of the vital public interest in choosing the next chief
of General Staff quickly, as you explained to me, and given the interim
findings that were presented to me today, according to which there is no
evidence of the involvement of any of the relevant major-generals in the
preparation of the document, it can no longer be said that there are
grounds for not choosing a new chief of General Staff,” Weinstein wrote
Netanyahu and Barak.
The attorney-general explained on Thursday: “I
reached this decision after studying the facts and determining the
balance between the goal of conducting a thorough investigation and the
public interest in preventing a delay in the appointment of a new chief
General Staff, and after it emerged that there was no basis for
of the major-generals relevant to the appointment process.”
On August 8,
the day Weinstein ordered police to investigate the document in response
complaint lodged by media adviser Eyal Arad, he also told the prime
the defense minister that they could not appoint a new chief of staff
police were trying to determine who was behind the document.
hearing held at the Petah Tikva District Court on Thursday, held to
police requests for Channel 2 to hand over its copy of the document,
prosecutors received several versions of the forged document, from a
Prosecutor Dan Eldad said that should enough evidence be amassed
for an indictment of a suspect or suspects, prosecutors might once again
receive Channel 2’s copy of the document. When tracing a forged
copy made can lead investigators to the culprits, he said.Ben Hartman
contributed to this report.