It was Benjamin Netanyahu's personality as much as his policies that prompted Israel's Knesset to bring down his Government little more than halfway through its four-year term. Charges by opposition parties that Mr Netanyahu was untrustworthy were echoed over the past two years by a succession of ministers in his own Government and other members of his right-wing coalition. Zig-zagging his way through endless political minefields, he finally was cornered in a dead-end with no room for manoeuvre. Returning from the United States two months ago with an agreement with the Palestinians calling for Israeli pullbacks on the West Bank, he immediately toughened his stance in order to prevent a revolt in his right-wing coalition. According to some coalition members, he assured them that the agreement would not, in fact, be implemented beyond a token first stage. Mr Netanyahu's narrow election victory over Labour's Shimon Peres was based on his promise to achieve 'peace with security'. He had previously opposed the Oslo accords with their land-for-peace formula. However, he changed his tack during the election campaign when polls showed that the public overwhelmingly favoured the accords. The line he adopted was that he would implement them but that he would do so only after tough bargaining with the Palestinians. He pulled troops out of most of Hebron under heavy American pressure but he stalled on further pullbacks called for in the accords, alleging Palestinian violations. At the same time, Mr Netanyahu took a number of steps the Palestinians regarded as provocations, such as expanding settlements and authorising a major Jewish neighbourhood in the midst of a largely Arab area in east Jerusalem. He was no less controversial in his domestic dealings. His appointment of a party hack as attorney-general unleashed a public furor and a police investigation. The appointment was finally withdrawn. A clever political tactician and superlative stump speaker, Mr Netanyahu appeared to get the better of most political exchanges. However, his credibility was steadily eroded as he left behind a trail of people who claimed he had lied to them. For all his tortured manoeuvrings, Mr Netanyahu did apparently have a consistent goal - to wear the Palestinians down and eventually strike a deal that would give them substantially less than the Labour Party would have.