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Israel drops criminal investigation into ex-military chief

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JERUSALEM — Israel's attorney general on Wednesday dropped a criminal investigation into Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, clearing the way for the former military chief to enter politics.

Ashkenazi had been caught up in a scandal surrounding the appointment of his successor in 2010.

PHOTO: FILE- In this Wednesday, July 8, 2009 file photo, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi salutes during a memorial ceremony for soldiers killed during the second Lebanon War in the military cemetery in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, Israel's attorney general has dropped a criminal investigation against Ashkenazi a decision that could shake up Israeli politics. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
FILE- In this Wednesday, July 8, 2009 file photo, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi salutes during a memorial ceremony for soldiers killed during the second Lebanon War in the military cemetery in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, Israel's attorney general has dropped a criminal investigation against Ashkenazi a decision that could shake up Israeli politics. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

Several Israeli media outlets have reported that Ashkenazi may be considering a move into politics, but he has not publicly voiced any such aspirations.

Ashkenazi took command of Israel's embattled armed forces in the wake of an inconclusive monthlong war against Lebanon's Hezbollah militants in 2006.

He stepped down in 2011 after a tenure marked by high public approval ratings but tensions with former Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

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