A planning committee partially cleared a former candidate for IDF chief of staff of allegations that he appropriated public land, a charge that played a part in quashing the general’s once-likely nomination to head Israel’s army.
The local planning and building said one of the problems with the home built by Maj.-Gen. (retired) Yoav Galant wasn’t his fault, though other charges against him remain.
Galant on Thursday avoided questions about a possible return to the public sphere, but said it was good to put the issue behind him.
The planning committee said Galant had built his home in the northern community of Amikam on 350 square meters of property accidentally listed as his, unaware that it was actually public land.
The decision didn’t address two other issues still being investigated by the state comptroller and attorney general: the building of an unauthorized access road to his house and the planting of an olive grove that spilled over the boundaries of his property.
Galant was the front-runner for the post of IDF chief of General Staff in 2010, but his candidacy was clouded by various negative stories in the media, including the alleged land appropriation scandal.
Eventually, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told Galant he couldn’t defend his appointment in front of the High Court of Justice, and he withdrew his candidacy.
It was “a situation used by others [to prevent my appointment]” Galant told Yedioth Ahronoth.
He thanked the appropriate authorities for bringing an end to the unnecessary anguish he and his family went through.
“It’s good the matter has come to an end. Better late than never,” Galant said.