Barak Tells Police Former IDF Chief Ashkenazi Threatened Him

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Former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, right, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, left, in 2010.

Former Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the police that Gabi Ashkenazi – then the military's chief of staff – tried to undermine him and foil some of his appointments. Barak, who testified two weeks ago to his involvement in the so-called Harpaz Affair, is not a suspect in the case.

Barak, who has not been summoned for investigation, was asked to shed light on new findings from the probe into former chief of staff's assistant, Col. (res.) Erez Weiner, and former IDF Spokesperson, Brigadier-General Avi Benayahu.

Barak told investigators with the Lahav 433 Unit that at no point did he conceal at any point in time that former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was acting against him – and even tried to prevent some of his appointments.

Barak reiterated what he had told the state comptroller that the moment Ashkenazi understood that Yoav Galant was the primary candidate to be next chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, he threatened him and said it was a declaration of war against him.

The Lahav 433 Unit is continuing to investigate former military and security personnel. Ashkenazi is also expected to be investigated under caution.

The Harpaz affair arose over a bitter dispute between Barak and then Chief of Staff Ashkenazi over who was to be Ashkenazi’s successor. It involved a fabricated letter written by Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz, a reserve officer and associate of Ashkenazi, which detailed false plans supposedly cooked up by the Barak camp to sully Ashkenazi’s name in an attempt to determine who would be the next chief of staff.

The state comptroller’s report into affair concluded that Ashkenazi’s assistant, Col. Erez Weiner, had prodded Harpaz into collecting incriminating information about Barak and his preferred candidate, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant –- and that Ashkenazi had at least partial knowledge of this. 

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