Gantz with Ashkenazi in 2011
Photo: Reuters
Gantz: Harpaz affair saw abuse of power
Day after state comptroller release report on scandal, IDF chief levels thinly-veiled criticism at his predecessor, vows to 'dig up skeletons' to bring wrongdoing to light
A day after the state comptroller said he had identified gross misconduct in the Harpaz affair, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz leveled thinly-veiled criticism at the army leaders that preceded him.


Addressing the harsh findings listed in State Comptroller Yosef Shapira's report, Gantz said that "This is a sad day for the IDF, the State of Israel, the citizens and everyone associated with the affair."


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He further vowed to "dig for more skeletons" if necessary in order to bring any underlying wrongdoing to light.


Shapira's report, which was mostly assembled under the previous state comptroller, delved into the affair that that saw Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz forging a document meant to promote Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment as IDF chief of staff. Harpaz, already a civilian at the time, managed to obtain classified information without having security clearance.

"לא יישארו דברים באוויר". גנץ, הערב (צילום: באדיבות דובר צה"ל)

Gantz on Monday (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)


Shapira asserted in his report that then IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi "contributed to the dissemination of unfounded information and to deepening the rift with (Defense Minister Ehud) Barak."


Stopping short of mentioning Ashkenazi or anyone else by name, Gantz said Monday that "lines were crossed and measures unworthy functionally, morally and ethically were taken."


"Power was abused at certain times," he added. "At times good and loyal actions were made that nevertheless crossed a line that shouldn't have been crossed. This kind of conduct is unacceptable to me."


And yet, Gantz vowed not to arbitrate between the sides involved in the affair, saying he would "stick to his own turn in the IDF, which isn't at all insignificant."


The IDF chief noted that the army has designated two committees to ensure that such breaches do not recur.


"I intend to take care of it. Nothing will remain up in the air," Gantz stressed.


"The Israeli public demands us to set an example, and we will rise up to this challenge," he concluded. "I believe that ultimately we will know how to fulfill our duty while avoiding the abuse of power and unfounded gossip…This kind of incident cannot repeat itself under any circumstances."


Gantz had contributed his testimony to the report because he was one of the three top commanders to be exposed to the fake document before it was leaked. 




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