Yoav Galant 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss has discovered facts regarding
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s land dealings on his moshav that were unknown to
the state when it opposed a High Court petition by the Green Party against
appointing Galant the next chief of General Staff, the state informed the court
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“The material that the state comptroller handed over to the
State Attorney’s Office contains prima facie facts that were unknown to those
who have been dealing with the subject until now, including officials in the
Attorney- General’s Office and the State Attorney's Office,” the state’s
representative, Einav Golomb, wrote in a brief to the court.
that Lindenstrauss has not completed his investigation of Galant’s appointment
and therefore it is not yet certain that he has uncovered new evidence regarding
Galant’s land dealings on Moshav Amikam near Zichron Ya’acov, which were the
subject of the Green Party’s petition.
If it turns out that there is new
evidence in the case, it could threaten Galant’s appointment. He is due to take
over command of the IDF on February 14.
The Green Party petition was
aimed at the Turkel Committee on senior government appointments, which was
tasked with determining whether Galant was morally suitable for the job to which
he had been appointed by the government on the recommendation of Defense
Minister Ehud Barak. It charged that the committee had approved Galant’s
appointment without seriously investigating allegations regarding Galant’s
dubious land dealings on his moshav.
Based on an investigative report in
Ma’ariv, the party said that Galant had built a private parking lot and two
access roads to it on public land; had extended his homestead plot by 350 square
meters; had received an allotment of 35 dunams (3.5 hectares) of agricultural
land from the Israel Lands Authority when none of the other “late-comers” to the
moshav had received any land; had unilaterally taken over an adjacent plot that
did not belong to him; and had extended his private garden by “annexing” nearby
During the first hearing of the petition on January 10,
Golomb defended Galant and argued that the Turkel Committee had been aware of
all the facts when it approved Galant’s appointment.
She said Galant had
returned the adjacent plot of agricultural land to the Israel Lands Authority
and that the extra 350 square meters added to his homestead was one of many
mistakes made by the local authority when it drew up detailed maps of the
She also admitted to the court that she had given
incorrect information about other moshav late-comers receiving the same
allotment of farmland as Galant.
The court was not satisfied with
Golomb’s explanations and ordered her to provide more information within 10 days
regarding the 350 square meters and the 35 dunams.
On Monday, three days
before the deadline, the state asked the court for permission to postpone its
answer until February 1.
“The State Comptroller’s Office informed the
State Attorney's Office that it was in possession of facts based on an
investigation that it is conducting regarding the charges made against Maj.-Gen.
Galant’s use of land in Moshav Amikam and he [Lindenstrauss] is prepared to hand
them over if requested,” Golomb wrote.
“Yesterday, the state comptroller
transferred the essence of the findings...The examination is still
incomplete and in the working stage.”
Golomb told the court that
Lindenstrauss had promised to speed up his examination regarding those issues
that could influence the court’s decision on the Green Party petition.