Yoav Galant
Former IDF chief of staff nominee Yoav Galant on a tour of the south in 2008, as GOC Southern Command. Photo by IDF Spokesperson
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New information was disclosed last night in connection to claims that the Israel Defense Forces' chief of staff-designate, Yoav Galant, illegally seized public land near his home.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss sent details from its examination of the case to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who in turn relayed the information in writing to the High Court of Justice.

The court is hearing a petition against Galant's appointment that was submitted by environmental advocacy organizations.

Judicial sources said recently that the excuse given for adding 350 square meters to Galant's property at his home in Moshav Amikam - that it was an honest mistake - was unconvincing. "Such mistakes do not normally occur," the sources said.

Lindenstrauss's investigation was supplemented with material from interviews and from a probe conducted by MK Michael Eitan.

IDF officers reportedly told investigators that the army submitted an opinion to planning agencies contending that Galant needed additional land in order to create a secondary exit route from his home.

Citing the need to review the new information, Weinstein asked the High Court to extend, from January 20 until February 1, the state's deadline for submitting an opinion to the court on Galant's appointment.

Posting couldbe delayed

Galant is scheduled to be sworn in on February 14. A postponement of court proceedings could delay his appointment.

"The examination has not yet been completed and is still work in progress," wrote Einav Golomb, who represented the Attorney General's Office before the court.

Last week the court asked Weinstein to explain how the public lands became part of Galant's property, any corrective measures and the timetable for setting things right.

The state was also asked to explain why it had previously presented different information about Galant's land holdings.

If Galant does not assume his new post on February 14, as scheduled, the assumption is that there are two options. Either Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi will stay on for the duration of the proceedings, or Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh will become acting chief of staff.