Netanyahu threatened Yedioth publisher, tried to sic rival paper on him — ex-aide

Former Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz testifies at the trial of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu that there were times when the former prime minister demanded that the Israel Hayom tabloid go after the publisher of rival paper Yedioth Ahronoth.

“I was witness to conversations in which Netanyahu demanded that Israel Hayom go full force after [Arnon] Mozes personally,” Hefetz says under cross-examination.

Nir Hefetz at the Jerusalem District Court in Jerusalem on December 7, 2021 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Netanyahu is accused in one of the three cases against him of attempting to reach a deal with Mozes in which Mozes’s paper would moderate its coverage of him in exchange for legislation to hobble Israel Hayom. Mozes is also accused in the case.

Hefetz says that Netanyahu threatened Mozes by saying that he had “personal information” about him, but he was never privy to what information Netanyahu supposedly had.

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