Lapid Moves Into Secure Apartment Near PM’s Residence in Yerushalayim

View of Balfour Street in Yerushalayim on Friday. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his wife on Motzoei Shabbos moved into a “secure” apartment in Yerushalayim, as the nearby Prime Minister’s Residence is undergoing renovations to upgrade its security.

The apartment, which already has security in place, is within the compound on the capital’s Balfour Street where the official premier’s residence is located.

The Shin Bet head, Ronen Bar, told Lapid during a meeting Friday that “most of the infrastructure shortcomings detailed in the State Comptroller’s report” have yet to be fixed, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“It was agreed that [the Shin Bet] would examine the fastest course of action in order to expedite the security and infrastructure renovation at the Balfour residence,” the statement said.

Lapid will meanwhile stay at the Shin Bet’s “secure compound” — an apartment that has served as a barracks for Shin Bet guards and before that was used by the Guatemalan Embassy.

The Shin Bet will also install security measures at Lapid’s Tel Aviv home. Bar said they will be “necessary and minimal,” so as to not disrupt the routine of Lapid’s neighbors.

The Shin Bet chief also told Lapid that to cut costs, existing security measures will be transferred from other areas, according to the premier’s office.

Naftali Bennett came under fire for living at his family home in Ra’anana rather than moving to the official residence. The Balfour facility was being renovated under orders from the Shin Bet, but Bennett’s critics and neighbors slammed the cost and nuisance of the layers of security that were added in his hometown.

Neighbors also had to deal with the noise of regular protests against the prime minister.

Lapid’s decision to move to Yerushalayim appeared aimed at avoiding similar criticism as he lives in densely populated Tel Aviv, meaning securing the area around his house would be costly.

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