Middle East

Netanyahu to vacant Balfour residence in two weeks, report says

14:07, 19 June 2021
Netanyahu to vacant Balfour residence in two weeks, report says Photo: Kremlin/Global Look Press

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to vacant the official residence at Balfour Street in Jerusalem within 14 days, the message was sent by current PM Naftali Bennett, Israeli broadcaster N12 reported. Even though the process was expected to last several weeks.

Bennet's coalition government also plans to introduce an amendment that will set a 14-day timetable for outgoing prime ministers to leave the official residence once a new government is sworn in. A bill, submitted by Yesh Atid MK Vladimir Beliak, reportedly will not affect Netanyahu retroactively and is intended to outline the practice for future governments.

Last month, protesters gathered outside the residence bringing over a large pile of boxes, taken in a van labeled "Crime Minister Movers."

Netanyahu family, who have lived at the Balfour residence for more than 12 years, is expected to move to their house in the city of Caesarea for a few months before politician's privately owned apartment in Jerusalem on Azza Street is being brought up to security standards.

Bennett stated that his family was not going to move to Jerusalem. PM will stay with his wife, Gilat, and four children in their home in Ra’anana, and is going to use the Balfour residence for hosting foreign dignitaries and on occasions, he needs to stay late in Israel's capital due to his work-related duties.

In 1999 it took six weeks for Netanyahu and his wife Sara to vacant the residence. At the time he complained that they were kicked out of Balfour onto the streets and had to go to the Sheraton Plaza Hotel.

On June 14 Israel voted to replace Netanyahu with a new leader of government Naftali Bennett, who had earned 60 votes in his favor to 59. Bennett will hold office first for the next 2 years, resulting in the opposition agreement signed by the leaders of the Yamina party, Yesh Atid, and the Ra’am party. Yair Lapid and Mansour Abbas will replace Bennett in a rotation manner.

Netanyahu has served as Israeli prime minister for the past 12 years since 2009 and in the late 1990s term.