After Embassy Move, U.S. to Sell Envoy’s House Near Tel Aviv

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

The U.S. State Department has put the ambassador to Israel’s official residence outside Tel Aviv up for sale, in a decision aimed at cementing the American embassy’s controversial move to Yerushalayim.

The beachfront mansion in the affluent Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya is going on the market because most of Ambassador David Friedman’s day-to-day activities are based at the embassy in Yerushalayim, the State Department said.

“Following the decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, it made sense to sell the residence in Herzliya,” it said. “Much of the embassy’s operations have shifted to Jerusalem and the ambassador has established an official residence there.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said in April that he considered the Trump administration’s decision to move the embassy “short-sighted and frivolous,” but said he would not move it back to Tel Aviv if elected president in November.

News of the residence’s sale was first published in the Israeli business newspaper Globes on Monday. The paper said the house, which sits on a 1.25- acre plot of land, has a roughly $87 million asking price. If it sells at that price, it would be the most expensive residential sale in the country, topping Russian–Israeli billionaire Roman Abramovich’s recent purchase of a home in Herzliya for $65 million earlier this year.

The State Department said the sale is expected to go forward in the coming months.