The tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his staff have recently been exposed again, but just a short time later Netanyahu denied charges he had ordered a polygraph test for some senior advisors.
"The Shin Bet decided who would be investigated and how," he said in a notice issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
During recent months, on the prime minister's orders, the Shin Bet has been investigating sensitive security and political leaks to the press. As part of the investigations, senior staff members underwent polygraph tests, including National Security Advisor Uri Arad, Head of the National Information Directorate Nir Hefetz and Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser.
In addition, various others outside the PMO who had access to the information were also questioned, a total of 10 people, and investigators also used wiretapping.
Sources at the PMO said the claim that Netanyahu had ordered the polygraph tests was incorrect. They said he had asked the leaks to be investigated, but that the decision as to "who would be investigated and how was a professional decision taken by the Shin Bet alone." They added, "Netanyahu was not involved in the investigation in any way."
Earlier, the Shin Bet confirmed that an investigation was under way. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was kept informed of developments. According to the findings, it seems source of the leaks is not in the PMO.
A senior source said the investigators used all legal means available to them and noted they did not wiretap reporters. Politicians were also not investigated.
One foot outside
This is not the first time tensions between the prime minister and his staff have surfaced. About a month ago Ynet reported on similar tensions, and accusations were voiced against Netanyahu's wife.
"Sara is breaking up the Office," one source said. "She's driving everyone crazy."
"There are at least two very senior people with one foot outside already, who are having doubts about their continued presence at the Office," sources close to Netanyahu said.
Last week, speculations were at least partly confirmed when Hefetz announced he would be leaving. He thanked Netanyahu for a "challenging period" and for the confidence the prime minister had in him, but sources at the PMO told Ynet the Hefetz was frustrated that his hands were so often tied.
Hauser and Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office Eyal Gabai were also mentioned as likely to resign from their roles.
Aviad Glickman contributed to this report.
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