Netanyahu, Sara board plane (archive)
Netanyahu, Sara board plane (archive) Amos Ben Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent Mossad chief Yossi Cohen to pressure the leaders of the United Arab Emirates to host him before the Knesset elections later this month, Walla political correspondent Barak Ravid reported.

Ravid reported that Netanyahu began organizing the visit about ten days ago in a telephone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, during which he asked to visit Abu Dhabi.

The UAE was hesitant to hold the visit because they did not want to be portrayed as interfering in the Israeli election campaign in Netanyahu's favor. The prime minister then asked the head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, to try to organize the visit through his extensive connections.

The UAE sent messages to Israel that it was worth postponing the visit until after the election, but Netanyahu and Cohen exerted heavy pressure, until the emirates agreed to the visit.

"The visit takes place less than two weeks before the election and seems like Netanyahu's attempt to break the stalemate in the polls by emphasizing his capabilities in the field of foreign policy compared to the relative inexperience of his political opponents," Ravid wrote on Twitter.

Netanyahu will depart for the UAE tomorrow.