Netanyahu Cancels Chief of Staff App't.

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Tuesday he had canceled the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant as the next IDF chief of general staff.

Netanyahu's decision, made together with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, followed Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein's earlier announcement that he would not defend Galant before the High Court.

The court had asked for further clarification of a petition submitted by the Green Party alleging that Galant acquired land illegally and misrepresented the facts in a sworn deposition and a letter to the Israel Lands Administration - charges Galant denies.

On Tuesday evening, Galant responded to the accusations that have plagued his appointment since September when the petition was originally submitted. Galant said he will continue working to clear his name.

"I am not quitting and am not leaving," the former head of the Southern Command said. "I expect the process to continue, and I will go to each and every test that I am summoned for," Galant said.

"There may have been mistakes in what I did, but I believe in the government and its institutions. I have defended this country for 34 years and now I expect that the state will defend me," he said.

Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh will serve as acting chief of staff for 60 days. During that time, the defense minister will consider possible candidates for the position.

Barak said he will submit several potential candidates to the attorney general before choosing one and bringing him before the cabinet for approval.

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