Colonel Arik Elazar - Jonathan Ben David
Colonel Arik Elazar Photo by Jonathan Ben David
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A witness in the Yoav Galant land affair wrote an opinion stating that the major general, the Israel Defense Forces' incoming chief of staff, needed another escape route from his home.

Galant has been accused of acquiring land on his moshav inappropriately.

The witness called to testify to the state comptroller is Col. Arik Elazar, former head of the General Staff unit that provides security for senior officers.

Elazar, who at the time of his command of the security unit was still a lieutenant colonel, said in his opinion that if an attack was launched, Galant needed another route of escape.

The move is highly unusual, as no similar opinion is known to have been issued for any other officer in recent years. All other generals, including outgoing Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, make do with a single route.

The opinion was only sent to the planning authorities after the extra road was built. According to Improvement of Government Services Minister Michael Eitan, Elazar sent his opinion in a letter directly to the planning authorities and through the infrastructure division of the General Staff planning department, as specified by the current regulations.

Elazar spent most of his military service in the special forces, playing senior roles in the Duvdevan special forces unit. Three years ago, Elazar was promoted to colonel and appointed head of the airborne and special training center, an umbrella unit of training centers like the counterterrorism school, the Oketz canine unit and the paratrooper school.

Sources in the General Staff said yesterday Galant played a key behind-the-scenes role in Elazar's promotion. Galant denies these claims. Elazar was also mentioned as a candidate to become military attache in one of Israel's embassies abroad, but failed to win the post.