Police suspect Galant document handled by IDF chief's aide
Col. Siboni claims that whistleblowing document to the media was "his civic duty," intended to quell corruption in the IDF.
Col. (Res) Dr. Gabi Siboni, who admitted to leaking the so-called Galant document to Channel 2, allegedly received the document from Col. Erez Weiner, an aide to Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, police said on Saturday.
Siboni, a close confidant of GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, would neither confirm nor denies this.
Weiner did not know that the document was a forgery and is not suspected of any criminal wrongdoing.
The Galant document purports to outline a PR campaign for Major-General Yoav Galant in his efforts to become the next Israel Defense Forces chief of staff.
Siboni told Haaretz he was acting to prevent what he saw as "horrific corruption," and that he was "fulfilling his civic duty."
Siboni said Eizenkot had no knowledge of the leak, and that he did not give him the document, although he said he did see a copy in Eizenkot's possession.
He also declined to say whether he received the copy he leaked from the office of Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, but said he remained convinced the document was genuine.
Siboni said he gave the document to Channel 2 through an intermediary, and only told Eizenkot of the leak after the news program ran the story, and that Eizenkot was angry. The reserves colonel informed police of being the source for the leak of his own accord, and police said he was not suspected of any criminal offense.
If Siboni sought to prevent the appointment of Galant as the next Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, he may have contributed greatly to exactly the opposite. What's worse, Eizenkot, who had always been seen as one shunning manipulation and public relations trickery, now has a dark cloud over his military career, and this could even prove the end of it.
Eizenkot learned of the document around the same time as Ashkenazi, police sources say, and reportedly spoke of his shock to several close associates, seemingly convinced of the document's authenticity. As a result of recent events, the relations between Eizenkot and Galant have deteriorated, and the two generals are no longer on speaking terms. Eizenkot went as far as to announce he would retire from the IDF should Galant be appointed chief of staff.
Channel 2 reported on Friday that Siboni told police Eizenkot had approached the chief of staff about the document, asking him to get the prime minister and attorney general involved, but Ashkenazi did not take any action.
Siboni would not comment on the matter and was willing to say only that he received the document from "one of the bureaus." The police knows which one.
Siboni said: "As soon as I got the document, there was no alternative. I was acting on my own." He added: "I understood the army won't be able to address this on the command level. The situation in the IDF became unbearable...I decided to use the paper, clearly knowing I might get hurt but understanding I was taking an important civic action, that I'm doing this for the country."
Siboni said the document looked to him like "the summary of a discussion between a lot of people. The logo issue is iffy. Okay, so they found an Eyal Arad logo was stuck on the document without permission. But the content of the document is not a fake, and reality isn't fake. The document is a manual, a work plan."
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