Investigators Raid Office of PR Guru Implicated in Galant IDF Chief Post Affair

Investigators take documents from Tel Aviv office of political strategist Eyal Arad.

Investigators from the international and serious crimes department searched the Tel Aviv office of political strategist Eyal Arad on Monday and took into their possession numerous documents.

On Friday, Channel 2 unveiled a document linking Arad to a public relations campaign to promote GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant as the next chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces.

On Sunday, however, Arad filed a police complaint charging that the so-called Galant document, which bears the logo of his public-relations firm, was a forgery.

Eyal Arad

Galant has denied any connection to the document.

Following Arad's complaint, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered that an investigation be opened. Weinstein acted after meeting with Justice Ministry officials including State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and the head of the police's Investigation and Intelligence Division, Maj. Gen. Yoav Segalovich.

A team from the international and serious crimes department under Chief Superintendent Yaron London was put in charge of the investigation, which will be closely supervised by Segalovich, who will continually update Lador and Weinstein.

The Shin Bet security service, the Defense Ministry's security chief and the Military Police could be brought in depending on whether the document turns out to be a forgery, officials said.

Weinstein on Sunday ordered the appointment of the next Israel Defense Forces chief of staff be deferred until the investigation into the Galant document is completed.

Current IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi's term ends in February. Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have feuded in recent months over who should take Ashkenazi's place. Apart from Galant, other candidates for the post include IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and GOC Northern Command Gadi Eizenkot.