Report: Galant to be next IDF chief

Ashkenazi is reportedly friends with Galant Document suspect.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
August 22, 2010 08:33
1 minute read.
Ashkenazi addresses group of soldiers

Ashkenazi Uniform 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has chosen OC Southern Command Gen. Yoav Galant as the next IDF chief of staff, Barak said in a statement on Sunday.

Galant's appointment is expected to be approved by the government next week.

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Galant has not been implicated in the "Galant Document" scandal, in which a forged press release claimed that the general planned a smear campaign against current IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and other high-ranking officers in order to improve his chances of being appointed as Ashkenazi's replacement

Also on Sunday, Army Radio reported that Ashkenazi has a close relationship with Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, who is suspected of forging the "Galant Document."

According to reports, Harpaz was a young officer when Ashkenazi was the commander of the Golani brigade, and the two maintained a friendship since then. The chief of staff also testified in Harpaz's favor when he was suspected of damaging information security when he served in Army Intelligence. Harpaz was thrown out of intelligence due to the suspicions.

Also on Sunday, Israel Radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is delaying his approval of new generals until the next IDF chief of staff is chosen. Ashkenazi promoted colonels to the rank of brigadier general, but Barak is reportedly withholding the authorization necessary for the move to be binding.

One of the officers whose promotion is on hold is Col. Erez Weiner, Ashkenazi's assistant, who was appointed as chief education officer according to Israel Radio. Weiner is the officer that gave the "Galant Document" to Col. Gadi Siboni, who allegedly leaked the document to Channel 2. Weiner reportedly took action without consulting with Ashkenazi.

Army Radio, however, anonymously quoted high-ranking officers as saying that Weiner would not leak the document without asking his boss, and that it is unreasonable that Ashkenazi would think that passing it on to other officers would not lead to it being leaked.


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