Netanyahu Vacates Prime Minister’s Residence in Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
A moving truck transporting the Netanyahu family’s belongings leaves the Prime Minister’s Residence in Yerushalayim, on July 6. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his family vacated the prime minister’s official residence early Sunday, nearly a month after the longtime leader was ousted from office with the formation of a new government.

A family spokesman confirmed the Netanyahus left the residence on Balfour Street in Yerushalayim shortly after midnight, in line with a deadline agreed upon last month with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

The Balfour residence was the scene of weekly protests against Netanyahu for much of the past year. Demonstrators called on the then-prime minister to resign while on trial for corruption. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down.

Netanyahu was Israel’s longest serving prime minister, having held office for the past 12 years, and had occupied the residence since 2009.

The Netanyahus will now move to their home in Ceaserea until their home on the capital’s Gaza Street will be renovated, where Netanyahu and his family lived before he was reelected as prime minister in 2009.

Bennett has not yet announced a date for moving into the residence.

He is not expected to move in to Balfour, but instead, keep residing with his family at their home in Ra’anana. Bennett will reportedly stay at Balfour during the week, hosting meetings and official events.

The Shin Bet security agency will reportedly be making security upgrades to the Balfour residence at a cost of between NIS 10–15 million.

The building has been the official residence of Israeli prime ministers since 1974.