Netanyahus decamp to luxury Jerusalem hotel as PM’s residence renovated

“In light of the increasing threats against Prime Minister Netanyahu,” he and his wife are staying at the Waldorf Astoria for a week, to the tune of some $1,000 a night.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara have temporarily relocated to the luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in Jerusalem, as the premier’s residence undergoes heavy construction work related to security updates at the home.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, the Netanyahus and their entourage booked an entire floor of the hotel. They are expected to stay at the hotel for a week, with each night costing some 3,800 shekels ($1,000). The bill for their stay is being footed by Israeli taxpayers.

“In light of the increasing threats against Prime Minister Netanyahu, security arrangements are being made around his apartment in Jerusalem that require him to stay for several days outside his apartment in a place approved by security officials and the Prime Minister’s Office,” read a statement from the premier’s spokesman.

The Netanyahus were unable to stay at their own private apartment on Azza Street in Jerusalem during the time the official prime minister’s residence on Balfour is undergoing renovations, due to their personal property needing security updates as well.

The estate in the coastal city of Caesarea owned by the Netanyahus was deemed too much of a logistical challenge, as the premier would need to commute some 120 kilometers (74 miles) to Jerusalem each day.

While the Netanyahus have endured intense media backlash for their stay at the Waldorf-Astoria, former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was similarly criticized for his decision not to move his family to the official premier’s residence in Jerusalem.

Due to the family’s choice to remain in their home in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ra’anana, millions of shekels in taxpayer money were spent constructing security checkpoints on their formerly quiet residential street and renovating the property to meet governmental security standards.

A Channel 13 report found that the Bennett family’s household expenses were costing taxpayers somewhere around 50,000 shekels per month ($13,000.) Roughly half of that money was spent on ordering food from the Wolt delivery service, while the rest went to gardening, cleaning, and utilities.