Netanyahu Lingering at PM Residence Draws Criticism

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhu at his residence in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏’s continued use of the PM’s official residence to host foreign dignitaries drew criticism again on Thursday.

Netanyahu met with French member of parliament Meyer Habib at the residence on Wednesday. The Jewish MP has been an outspoken advocate for Israel in France, and has personal ties to the Netanyahus.

Habib on Thursday posted a photo taken with Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at the residence, saying that he was there a day earlier for a “private meeting” that took place amid moving boxes.

While the law does not say when a prime minister must vacate the premises after a new government takes over, and so Netanyahu has not violated any law, after his critics complained about his ongoing presence there, he issued a joint statement with Prme Minister Naftali Bennett he would depart by July 10.

The announcement followed a visit with Netanyahu at the residence with former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. The latter posted a photo of the visit, which triggered a minor uproar.

However, his being there poses no impediment to Bennett moving in, since Bennett does not plan to move in.

The prime minister has said that he and his family will to stay in their hometown of Raanana during the week, while he uses the official residence for meetings.