High Court Accuses Bennett of Misconduct in Home Construction


The Prime Minister’s residence, on Balfour Street in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The High Court cited Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the Prime Minister’s Office legal advisor Shlomit Barnea-Fargo for misconduct in the multi-million shekel construction project Bennett is conducting on his home in Ra’anana.

During a hearing on Wednesday regarding the current limitations on demonstrations in front of Bennett’s house, the judges stated that although the subject of the hearing was not the construction project, they could not ignore the way the work was done, contrary to the Planning and Building Law, which states that a building permit must be obtained first.

Bennett obtained no building permits, and the tens of millions of shekalim spent on the project, the enlargement and fortification of his personally owned residence, were apparently not approved through the proper procedures.

In essence, the High Court said that the construction project is a criminal offense since a violation of the building codes is a criminal offense in Israel.

The High Court noted that Bennett and Barnea-Fargo acted in an improper manner.

“I cannot refrain from referring to the bleak picture that was revealed and the clearly incorrect management that was also exposed during the hearing of the petitions, on several levels,” Justice Yosef Elron noted.

After refusing to move with his family to the official Prime Minister’s residence in Yerushalayim, Bennett launched a massive construction project to upgrade his house, at the taxpayer’s expense, allegedly to make it suitable for his work.

Bennett’s neighbors, who have been significantly affected by the grandiose construction project and the strict security arrangements imposed on them, have filed claims against the Bennett family at the High Court.

Oriel Hur-Nizri, who is representing the families, stated after the hearing that he hopes that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara will immediately issue an order to open a criminal investigation against Bennett and all the parties involved in “the fortress in Ra’anana.”

“Although the court could have ignored the severe acts committed by the Prime Minister and his entourage, the High Court chose the path of justice. Although this is not the subject of the petition, and a follow-up petition will be filed [on the construction] in the coming days, the judges, with harsh criticism and courage, came out against the misconduct of the Prime Minister and his entourage. It is clear that the border has been crossed towards the criminal line.”

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