IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has decided not to appoint Brigadier-General Moshe (Chico) Tamir to another post, thus effectively ending the military career of the decorated former Gaza Division commander who tried to cover up an accident which occurred during his teenage son's joyride in his military-issued all-terrain vehicle.
In November 2009, a Military Court accepted Tamir's appeal and overruled a military tribunal's decision to demote him to the rank of colonel, but also recommended that the senior officer not be eligible for promotion for a period of two years.
The incident took place about two-and-a-half years ago during a joint trip by officers in the Gaza Brigade. Tamir allowed his 14-year-old son to drive the ATV. The teen drove the vehicle on a dirt road until he collided with a car owned by a civilian. Both cars were slightly damaged, but no one was hurt.
IDF officials said that though Ashenazi's decision was somewhat surprising considering the fact that the IDF chief sent the military tribunal a letter in support of Tamir, he wanted to send out an unequivocal message that any deviation from the army's values of integrity will not be accepted.
A senior IDF officer who is close to Tamir called Ashenazi's decision "unfortunate for both Chico and the army."
The chief of staff's decision also paves the way for the official retirement of Brigadier-General Imad Fares, who lied to his commanding officer when he said he had been present in his military-issued car, as required, when his wife, who was driving, was involved in a car accident.