Netanyahu stops paper after story on his wife

Netanyahu sent a sharp letter of protest to the Israeli daily newspaper's publisher, Arnon Mozes, and its editor, Alon Shalev, saying the report "crossed all lines of decency, humanity, and morality."

"In general, I have kept silent about the repeated attacks on my family in the last year and a half, but this evil assault is unprecedented. Its aim is to destroy her respect as a human being through character assassination," Netanyahu wrote.

He concluded: "Now I have to take the most basic step available to a citizen in a democratic society. I hereby announce the cancellation of my subscription to Yediot Achronot."

Yediot stood by its report, saying in response: "We regret the prime minister chose not to relate substantively in his letter to the facts that were revealed in the Yediot Achronot investigation."

The statement said that the report dealt with "Mrs. Netanyahu's conduct in the public arena, the unaudited expenditure of public funds and…inappropriate behavior towards state employees."

It added that the report had been published after an investigation of the facts, "which up until now have not been denied by Mrs. Netanyahu or a member of her office."

For her part, Sara Netanyahu said Friday that there has been an outpouring of support for her following the Yediot article.

She came out of her home and spoke to reporters as she greeted a man and his two daughters who came carrying a sign of support.

Sara Netanyahu told a television crew that she had received "a thousand responses, and I want to thank everyone through these two lovely girls." She then hugged the girls.

In its report, Yediot said Sara Netanyahu operated her own bureau using public funds, mistreated her staff, once threatened to call the police on her husband and ordered bodyguards to clean up her children's spilled food.

It quoted housekeeper Rachel Ya'acov, who worked for years in the homes of Israeli premiers, as saying Sara Netanyahu was a difficult boss who had once thrown newly polished shoes at her, claiming Ya'acov had ruined them.

The paper also said Sara Netanyahu takes whatever gifts she can.