Galant Withdraws Petition Over Cancellation of IDF Chief Nomination

Withdraw of petition signals end of 'Gallant affair', which began when over allegations that Galant had seized public land.

Former Israel Defense Forces chief of staff nominee Yoav Galant withdrew his court petition asking that his nomination be reexamined on Monday.

Galant's nomination was revoked last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, after Gallant was accused of improperly seizing public land near his home on Moshav Amikam. The withdrawal of his petition signals the end of a months-long affair that has caused a large amount of controversy within Israel's defense establishment.

Galant's petition to the High Court of Justice had come the same day that the government's cabinet was set to debate the new nominee for IDF chief, Benny Gantz.

The cabinet meeting was delayed two hours yesterday as a result of the petition in the morning. Galant asked the court to issue a temporary injunction against the nullification of his appointment, and against Gantz's nomination for the top IDF post; he also demanded that the Turkel committee reconsider his own appointment. Justice Elyakim Rubinstein rejected the request, but ordered the court to discuss Galant's petition. It appears that with the withdrawal of the petition, what has been referred to as the "Galant affair" is finally over.

Yoav Galant
Itzik Ben Malki

Netanyahu, when announcing Gantz's appointment, had said that he understood where Galant was coming from.

"He went through something that is not simple and I understand the enormity of his disappointment," Netanyahu said.

"The IDF's stability is especially important in light of the turmoil in the region," Netanyahu added to explain why he supported Gantz for the position of IDF chief.

Since only a week is left until current Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi completes his term, it is possible that Gantz will assume his new role in an interim capacity until his appointment is official.