Setback for Israeli chief of staff nominee

Feb. 1, 2011 at 9:20 AM

JERUSALEM, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The nomination of Israel's next military chief of staff, Maj. Gen Yoav Galant, hit another setback Tuesday when the attorney general backed off defending him.

Ynetnews reported it had learned Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was distancing himself from the scandal-plagued nomination and wouldn't defend it, putting the matter into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's heads.

Galant was supposed to assume the military chief of staff post this month, but various allegations have arisen that he lied in a sworn affidavit about significant additions to his house and illegally took over and developed seven acres of public land near his home, the report said.

Meanwhile, the prime minister's most likely options would be to appoint a private lawyer to defend Galant or appoint someone else entirely to head the military, Ynetnews said.

Galant has denied all of the allegations, saying none of the incidents were done intentionally, the report said.

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