Foreign Minister Eli Cohen pressured ministry officials to hand out diplomatic passports to senior Likud officials and Yair Netanyahu, the adult son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Haaretz daily reports.
The report says that Cohen pressed to give the passports to Likud members who are seen as influential in the party and could affect the ranking that politicians get in party primaries. Among those who got diplomatic passports were the head of the Mateh Binyamin regional council Yisrael Gantz and Dimona Mayor Benny Biton.
The report says the ministry officials complained to Director General Ronen Levy, noting these recipients were ineligible under the current criteria, but were overruled.
Cohen also secured a passport for Yair Netanyahu even though the son of a prime minister is only eligible up to age 18, claiming that he needed a diplomatic passport because he was protected on travels overseas by the Shin Bet and the agents had diplomatic passports, Haaretz said.