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Bennett said planning to sleep 4 nights a week at official PM residence

Family to remain at private home in Ra’anana to allow children to continue attending same schools, while hoping to avoid political spotlight

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, his wife Gilat and their four children at the Knesset on June 13, 2021. (Naftali Bennett/Instagram)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, his wife Gilat and their four children at the Knesset on June 13, 2021. (Naftali Bennett/Instagram)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s family is set on remaining in their private residence in the central town Ra’anana, despite criticism over the significant cost in state funds required in order to secure the site and complaints from neighbors.

However, Bennett himself will sleep about four nights a week at the prime minister’s official residence on Jerusalem’s Balfour Street and plans to have the site fully functional, Channel 12 reported Friday.

The main reason behind the decision is to allow Bennett’s four children to continue in their current schools, the network said, adding that Gilat Bennett’s office is also located in Ra’anana.

Bennett also hopes that by remaining in Ra’anana, his family will be able to avoid the political spotlight, Channel 12 said.

According to a Channel 13 report earlier this week, Bennett’s decision to remain at his private home in Ra’anana could cost some NIS 12-15 million ($3.6-4.6 million) in state funds.

That one-time cost would go toward building security stations, roadblocks, cameras and other infrastructure necessary to protect the prime minister. Further costs are expected to go toward renting nearby apartments for security officials.

A guard post is seen outside Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s home in the central city of Ra’anana, June 30, 2021. (Screen capture/YouTube)

The network said Bennett’s neighbors in the affluent central Israeli city were demanding some NIS 30,000 ($9,200) per month in rent.

The security arrangements were at the recommendation of the Shin Bet security service and other officials and not being pushed for by Bennett, according to the report.

Ra’anana residents who live nearby have been irritated by the high security and ongoing protests against Bennett, which on Sunday police issued new orders limiting them.

Bennett is set to serve as prime minister for the next two years, before being replaced by Yesh Atid leader and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid under a rotation agreement.

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to vacate the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem; he and Bennett agreed earlier this month that he will leave by July 10.

The Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street. (Yaakov Saar/GPO)

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