IDF to State: Investigate 'Inappropriate' Ad in Support of Incoming IDF Chief

Several Israeli newspapers ran ads signed by citizens warning of a coup d'état in the IDF command in the wake of real-estate controversy involving Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant.

The State Prosecutor's Office must investigate a printed ad which attacked several senior Israel Defense Forces officers for their alleged involvement in the attempt to thwart Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment as the next chief of staff, the IDF said on Sunday.

Yoav Galant
Tomer Appelbaum

Several Israeli newspapers, including Haaretz, ran an ad Sunday morning, signed by "citizens who do not know Galant [the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff designate] personally, but are concerned about a potential coup d'état in the IDF command."

This alleged concern is due to recent developments that are delaying the instatement of Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant as IDF chief of staff. Galant is suspected of improperly annexing land to his property on Moshav Amikam, a move which he claims was an honest mistake.

On Sunday, Military Advocate General Maj. Gen. Avichai Mendelblit asked Shai Nitzan, the deputy state prosecutor, to investigate the slanderous comments made against the incoming chief of staff as well as agent the IDF spokesperson, saying the "comments published in several newspapers include inappropriate statements about several high ranking officials in the IDF."

Mendelblit told Nitzan that the slanderous comments require criminal investigation into the individuals responsible for making and publishing the statements.

Galant ad

"Furthermore, the comments refer to both the chief of staff as well as the IDF Spokesperson, Avi Bnayahu, a serious offense in an attempt to thwart decisions at the state level. This statement is libelous gossip. In addition to attempting to tarnish the good names of high ranking IDF officials, these allegations are also insulting to a civil servant," Mendelblit said.

The military advocate general further stressed that "according to investigative materials, the IDF spokesperson had nothing to do with the document, and did not even know of its existence."