Israel's political establishment is on alert after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced Wednesday night that the government plans to drop its criminal probe into former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.
Major General (res.) and former MK Elazar Stern, a friend of Ashkenazi's, expressed hope Thursday that the case against Ashkenazi is really closed and that the Lieutenant General will join his political party – the centrist Yesh Atid.
"I hope he comes to Yesh Atid, he is a man of the center," Stern told Army Radio, noting the option had come up in conversations between the two. "We also talked about him joining the party."
"I trust Gabi Ashkenazi as a man fit to lead this country," Stern added, dismissing the allegations against Ashkenazi as a "targeted assassination."
Ashkenazi was linked to a high-profile corruption scandal known as the Harpaz affair, in which tense relations between Ashkenazi and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly boiled over into "criminal" activity.
The former IDF Chief of Staff was accused of acting in "a manner unworthy" of a senior officer by collaborating with former officer Boaz Harpaz to smear Barak as well as influence the appointment of his successor.
However, state prosecutors determined Wednesday night, Channel 2 reported, that there was not enough evidence to change Ashkenazi for his alleged involvement in the case.