Report: Ex-IDF Officer Admits to Forging Galant Document

Boaz Harpaz reportedly tells police he had doctored the controversial document in response to what he saw as 'manipulations' by Defense Minister Barak against IDF chief Ashkenazi.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Boaz Harpaz, suspected of being the man behind the Galant Document, admitted to police investigators that he had forged the controversial document, Israel Radio reported on Friday.

Harpaz was once an officer in an elite commando unit.Credit: Courtesy of Channel 2

Police suspected the retired Israel Defense Forces officer was the person behind the forgery of the document, which sought to influence the appointment of the next IDF chief of staff by purporting to outline a PR campaign for Major-General Yoav Galant.

Police also estimated he was involved in disseminating it throughout the army, including by passing one of the first copies to Col. Erez Weiner, an aide to Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, several months ago.

Investigators based these suspicions on the testimony of people with whom Harpaz discussed the document in recent months, both in the army and outside it, as well as on evidence taken from his computer and other findings.

According to the Israel Radio Friday, Harpaz reportedly told investigators he had indeed forged the document, adding, however, that he worked alone, taking sole responsibility for the act.

Hapraz also reportedly told investigators that he had forged the document following Defense Minister Ehud Barak's decision to announce the next IDF chief ahead of the scheduled date, in what Harpaz thought was a "manipulation" against incumbent Chief of Staff Ashkenazi.

Harpaz was arrested Monday upon his return from Europe and taken in for questioning. On Tuesday, police sought to remand him for 10 days, arguing that he posed a flight risk, but the court agreed to only five days.

But despite being questioned for hours by a team of investigators, he continued to say that he was not involved in the forgery and had only received the material, as many others did.

On Tuesday, Harpaz's attorney, Yaron Kostelitz, told the court that his client had answered every question he was asked, but insisted that he neither forged the document nor knew that it was a forgery.

Kostelitz added that Harpaz's return to Israel was coordinated with the police, and therefore, he argued, there is no risk that he would flee the country.

In the end, police reached a compromise with Kostelitz under which Harpaz was remanded for five days.

Police are also investigating suspicions that Harpaz did not act alone, but had partners who assisted him in forging and disseminating the document.

During questioning investigators confronted the suspect with testimony from witnesses, including that of Weiner, as well as other evidence police allege ties Harpaz to the forgery and distribution of the document.

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