After a lengthy investigation, an indictment was handed down Thursday against Boaz Harpaz, a former IDF officer who was a close friend and confidante to former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. Harpaz was indicted for forgery over allegations that he produced a document that allegedly indicated a plot in which several IDF officials were accused of using false pretenses to besmirch former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in connection with the appointment of a successor for Ashkenazi.
The investigation, which has been ongoing for years, has cleared numerous others allegedly involved in the scandal, including Ashkenazi himself, whom investigators said was unaware of the matter. Harpaz, who was seeking to capitalize on the enmity between Barak and Ashkenazi, was the mastermind of the plot, according to the indictment.
The investigation and indictment centered on a document allegedly authored by Harpaz in 2010, which purported to show how Barak planned to damage Ashkenazi’s career, and deny him a fifth year as IDF Chief of Staff. According to investigators, Harpaz made it his mission to try and find “dirt” on Barak, and came up with the idea for the forged document. An investigation against Harpaz compatriot Erez Wiener, who allegedly consulted with Harpaz on organizing the plot, was closed earlier this year, as investigators determined that it was Harpaz alone who had authored the document.
Among the reasons for the enmity between Ashkenazi and Barak was the pair’s inability to agree on appointments, including that of the IDF Chief of Staff to replace Ashkenazi. Investigators said that Ashkenazi preferred Benny Gantz, who eventually got the job, with Barak plugging for Galant. The disagreement was part of a general atmosphere of mistrust between Ashkenazi and Barak, who disagreed on numerous issues and were said to dislike each other intensely.