Official denies Mossad nod delayed by last-second pressures

A senior diplomatic official, speaking on condition of anonymity, denies rumors that the almost one-hour delay in Netanyahu’s announcement of Yossi Cohen for Mossad chief was due to last-minute drama.

The official says there were “no last-minute pressures.”

The official also says Netanyahu carefully vetted and thought out his choice. Two earlier nominations this year — Gal Hirsch for police chief, and Ran Baratz for public relations czar — came under fire after the nominations had already been made when new facts came to light.

“The prime minister carried out a process of orderly, intensive and responsible rounds of deep interviews with the three candidates,” the official says. “The prime minister consulted over the last 24 hours with Mossad head Tamir Pardo and with former Mossad head Meir Dagan and made the decision during the day.”

— Raphael Ahren

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