'Problematic wording.' Galant
Photo: IDF Publicity
Major-General Yoav Galant met with Yehuda Weinstein on Sunday to try and convince the attorney general to oppose a petition filed with the High Court of Justice against his appointment as next IDF chief of staff.
In its petition, the Green Party charged 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 of agricultural land from the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) when none of the other "late-comers" to Moshav Amikam had received any land, and that he had unilaterally taken over an adjacent plot which did not belong to him, and had extended his private garden by "annexing" nearby public land.
Op-ed: Should Yoav Galant’s appointment as IDF chief of staff hinge on real estate issues?
During the meeting with Weinstein, Galant and his attorney, Dori Klagsblad, refuted State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' claim that the major general had lied to the Hadera Magistrate’s Court in a sworn affidavit when he said he had asked for permission to exceed his building rights before building the additional floor space.
Did he lie or not? Galant (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Galant insisted that he had approached the building and planning authorities before construction on his home's extension had begun, adding that he had acted in good faith. Lindenstrauss' report claimed he asked authorities for permission retroactively.
As for the claim that he lied in a sworn affidavit, Galant said he did not do so intentionally and that the discrepancies between the comptroller's version and his own are the result of mistakes and problematic wording.
The major general also told Weinstein that the criticism against him is uncalled for.
After speaking with Galant, the AG met with State Prosecutor Moshe Lador to discuss the affair. Weinstein will apparently refer the issue to the Turkel Senior Appointments Committee, which will decide whether Galant is worthy of taking over as army chief.
Meanwhile, Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz, who chairs the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, decided to delay a special farewell meeting with outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, which was scheduled for Monday, due to "developments in the Galant affair."
Security officials who are familiar with the affair told Ynet that Ashkenazi would agree to extend his term in case Galant's appointment is cancelled.
Ashkenazi is scheduled to step down on February 14, and, according to the officials, he has already booked a flight to the Caribbean. However, they said, he is willing to delay his vacation.
Aviad Glickman and Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report
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