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Israeli prime minister's son caught boasting about $20bn gas deal outside strip club

Yair Netanyahu heard in a recording asking the son of a gas tycoon to 'spot' him cash outside the club

    Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in November 2017
    Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in November 2017 Photo: Flash90

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair has been caught on tape boasting about how his father helped to push through a multibillion-dollar deal with a gas tycoon.

    The recording, believed to have been made outside a strip club, was broadcast on Israeli television despite attempts by the prime minister’s lawyers to block it.

    Critics said it was the latest evidence pointing to the Netanyahu family’s close relationship with big business.

    The Israeli prime minister is facing two corruption investigations and his family and associates are implicated in at least three others.

    On the tape Yair Netanyahu and his friend Ori Maimon, the son of the gas tycoon Kobi Maimon, can be heard talking about money.

    Ori’s father is a shareholder in Isramco, which owns the Tamar gas fields.

    The friends, accompanied by a government security guard and driver, were going from one strip club to another on a night out when they started arguing about 400 shekels [£86].

    According to the recording shown by Israel Television News Company, Yair says to Ori: “Bro, you got to spot me. My dad made an awesome deal for your dad, bro, he fought, fought in the Knesset for this, bro.

    “Bro, my dad now arranged for you a $20 billion deal and you can’t spot me 400 shekels?”

    The recording was reportedly made in 2015, when there was political controversy over newly discovered natural gas deposits and the rights to drill in them.

    Critics also attacked reports that Yair used a government-funded security guard and car to take him and his friends to strip clubs.

    According to Haaretz, Yair Netanyahu said In a statement issued on Monday night: "Tonight I watched a disgraceful, yellow-press report that presented illegal recordings of a conversation that took place two and a half years ago. In a night conversation, under the influence of alcohol, I spoke nonsense about women and other things that were better left unsaid.

    "These remarks do not reflect who I am, the values on which I was raised and my beliefs. I regret the remarks and apologize if anyone was hurt by them. In addition, the things I said to Maimon were a dumb joke and joking around with him, as anyone could tell.

    "I never took an interest in the natural-gas framework agreement and never had any idea about its details."

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