According to Ynet, Netanyahu’s former aide has told police investigators about heavy pressure the prime minister had been subjected to by his wife and son in a number of occasions.

Benjamin, Sara and Yair Netanyahu

Benjamin, Sara and Yair Netanyahu Photo credit: Chaim Tzach, GPO

A former close aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told police investigators that Netanyahu had made a number of major diplomatic and security-related decisions based on pressure from his wife, Sara, and his 25-year-old son, Yair.

According to Israeli news site Ynet, Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former media advisor who later became a state witness against him, told the police of the “bizarre” way in which decisions were being made at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem. “Security officials would make a decision, but then Yair would yell at (his father) and Sara would make a scene and (Netanyahu) would cave,” Hefetz was quoted as saying.

Hefetz specifically cited two fairly-recent incidents in which he says Netanyahu’s wife and son heavily influenced his judgement. The first is Netanyahu’s decision in July to place metal detectors on Temple Mount following a terror attack – a decision that angered Jordanian officials and was eventually cancelled by the Israeli Cabinet. According to Hefetz, Yair Netanyahu urged his father to keep the metal detectors at the entrance to the holy site against the advice of top security officials.

The second example given by Hefetz is Netanyahu’s meeting with an Israeli security guard who had killed a Jordanian citizen during an assault. “He (Netanyahu) was told that it was a mistake and that it might create tensions with Jordan, but (Yair) insisted on taking a picture (of the meeting) and uploading it to Facebook, and that’s when the whole mess began,” Hefetz reportedly told investigators.