The United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July, according to an official Israeli record of the sale that shines new light on a transaction that has been shrouded in secrecy.
The State Department confirmed the sale in September but refused to identify the buyer or disclose the sale price of the sprawling beachfront compound in Herzliya. It has also declined to say how much the U.S. government is now paying to lease the property.
Globes has identified the buyer as magnate Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of both President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. A representative of Adelson said the billionaire had no comment.
At more than $67 million, it appears to be the most expensive single residence ever sold in Israel.
The sale helped to cement Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Yerushalayim in 2018 and to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital. By selling the residence, it would make it harder for future presidents to reverse the decision to move the embassy. President-elect Joe Biden has criticized the decision to move the embassy to Yerushalayim but says he will not reverse it.