Mossad Director Yossi Cohen promised to be loyal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara before being nominated to a senior position in 2013, Israeli media reported Wednesday, citing a Channel 13 report.
Cohen, an unknown Mossad low-ranking official at the time. allegedly promised to remain loyal to Netanyahu when competing for the position of head of the National Security Council (NSC), years before assuming the position of head of Mossad.
The allegations, made by businessman Arnon Milchan and his assistant Hadas Klein as part of their testimonies in Netanyahu's ongoing criminal trial, have been reported in the past by Ynet and Maariv. Sara Netanyahu rejected the reports, referring to them as fake news. "Mrs. Netanyahu rejects the blatant lie told time and time again, indicating that she somehow has anything to do with nominations in any way. Stop the fake news - repeating a lie doesn't make it true," a statement made on her behalf read. Cohen himself has rejected the reports as well.According to Milchan's testimony, Cohen turned to him in 2013, expressing a desire in becoming head of the NSC, and asked him to speak to Netanyahu and to promote his nomination.Milchan continued to explain to Cohen, according to his testimony, the importance that Sara Netanyahu put on personal loyalty, noting that Cohen did not hesitate to promise his loyalty to the Netanyahu family. Milchan added that Cohen would regularly ask him what Sara thought of him, going to far lengths to make sure that he was perceived in a positive light - efforts that seemed to have panned out, as Cohen was nominated director of Mossad three years later, in 2016.