Former Aide Says Netanyahu Followed Son’s Advice Over Top Security Officials

Nir Hefetz sits in the Magistrate Court during his remand hearing in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 22. (Reuters/Amir Cohen/File)

The Bezeq corruption probe spilled over into areas of national security on Monday as the latest suspect to turn state witness alleged that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the advice of his wife and son over that of senior officials, according to media reports.

Former Netanyahu communications advisor Nir Hefetz claimed on Monday that the reason he quit his job was because “Bibi, at the inspiration and influence of his son Yair, displayed irresponsibility and made decisions that harmed Israel’s national interests and the security of the state,” Hadashot quoted him as saying, without specifying what those decisions were about.

“The son Yair caused damage to his father and the state. This is the reason I left,” he told associates, according to the report, which said that Yair’s views had won out over those of top Mossad and Shin Bet officials.

Netanyahu, responding from Washington on Monday night, dismissed the story as “nonsense,” asserting that Hefetz was not in a position to even know of such things.

“For over seven years Nir Hefetz has not had the security clearance necessary to be knowledgeable on matters of intelligence or state,” read the statement, “the things attributed to him are groundless.”

The statements would appear to have no connection with the testimony that Hefetz has agreed to provide in a deal signed on Sunday to turn state’s witness. He is expected to hand over recordings of PM Netanyahu and his wife implicating them in the allegations of bribery, Haaretz reported.

The prime minister’s son may be called in for questioning in the Bezeq case as well.

Updated Monday, March 5, 2018 at 4:44 pm netanyahu comment