After harsh criticism was passed in the State Comptroller's report on the Harpaz Affair, IDF
Chief of Staff Benny Gantz dismissed Colonel Erez Weiner from the Israel Defense Forces, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
Weiner, who was former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's assistant, was dismissed based on severe complaints against him for "involvement in the Harpaz Affair," according to the report.
Last Wednesday, Gantz met with Weiner and told him that he views the State Comptroller's
report gravely. "In light of the report I see no reason to promote you or keep you in the army," said Gantz.
The chief of staff informed him that the treatment of his case will be transferred to the army's Manpower Directorate, which means that he will in fact be dismissed from the army.
Weiner contemplated taking the case to court and dragging senior officers and generals into it, but on Sunday he notified the chief of staff that he is foregoing the legal route. "I have no intention of harming the army; I will bring this to light in other ways," he said and clarified: "I am doing this with a heavy heart."
Gantz hinted last week of the option of taking measures in light of the publication of the severe report and said he would clean up shop even more if he must.
Gantz, who already cancelled Weiner's promotion as Chief Education Officer
a few months ago, discussed taking personal command measures against a number of officers who are connected to the affair and still serve in the IDF.
Material gathered during the State Comptroller's inspection and specifically from phone call recordings in the chief of staff's office indicated that Weiner cooperated with Boaz Harpaz
and encouraged him to gather degrading information likely to harm the reputability of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, his wife, bureau chief and others.
He has also been accused of misconduct and of misunderstanding the limitations of what is allowed and what is forbidden.
In addition, the Harpaz Report
claimed that Weiner acted conversely to Ashkenazi's orders on keeping the Harpaz Report a secret when it arrived at his office and dispersed copies of it.
In response to the report, Weiner claimed "I find myself paying a personal and professional price due to the position I filled and due to the great responsibility I showed in the framework of my role of isolating the chief of staff from the 'background noise' and protecting him from the scheming aimed at him methodically and constantly from the defense minister's
Those associated with Weiner added that he was in contact with Harpaz in accordance with former Chief of Staff Ashkenazi's orders and out of the loyalty he maintained for his boss.
Addressing his former assistant's dismissal, Ashkenazi said, "As part of his role, Wiener found himself in an impossible position caused, as the State Comptroller reports describes, by the actions of the defense minister and his bureau, which harmed the army."
The former army chief expressed disappointment over Wiener's dismissal and said that the criticism leveled against him in the State Comptroller's report was "exaggerated."
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