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Strained ties. Ashkenazi Photo: Yaron Brener
Strained ties. Ashkenazi Photo: Yaron Brener
 
Ehud Barak Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
Ehud Barak Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
 
Yoav Galant Ofer Amram
Yoav Galant Ofer Amram
 
 

Draft report on Harpaz affair criticizes Ashkenazi

Findings of State Comptroller's probe into forged document aimed at derailing Galant candidacy for IDF chief stress strained ties between army brass, defense minister Barak's bureau

Aviad Glickman
Published: 03.04.12, 19:10 / Israel News

A draft of a State Comptroller report leveled scathing criticism at former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's over his conduct in the so-called Harpaz affair.

 

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The draft, which was released Sunday to Ashkenazi, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, criticizes the former army chief over his alleged ties to a document that was forged by Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz in an attempt to thwart the candidacy of Yoav Galant as the next IDF chief of staff.

 

Galant was eventually disqualified as a candidate for IDF chief due to unrelated allegations that he had improperly used public lands near his home in Moshav Amikam.

 

Sources who are familiar with the 200-page draft said it also criticized Ashkenazi's relations with the political establishment and his ties to Harpaz himself. It also found fault with Ashkenazi and Barak over their conduct during the appointment of the army's 20th chief of staff, while stressing the strained relations between Ashkenazi and Barak's respective bureaus.

 

The comptroller determined that the "warlike atmosphere" between Ashkenazi and Barak's bureaus was detrimental to the State of Israel.

 

However, the draft did not address some of the allegations made against Ashkenazi over the past year. The former IDF chief was accused of intervening in the appointment process, organizing a "coup d'état" against the defense minster and offering pension benefits to Harpaz. The State Comptroller did not address any of these allegations.

 

In drafting the report, the State Comptroller's office heard testimonies from some 300 people - mostly senior IDF and defense establishment officials. The examination did not find any criminal wrongdoing, meaning that the investigation into the Harpaz affair is not expected to reopen.

 

Current IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz was also among those who testified.

 

The comptroller's investigation revealed numerous text messages between Ashkenazi's wife Ronit and Harpaz

 

Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report

 

 

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