Detailed plans of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem home were reportedly available online

Information, said to include planned fortifications, layout of rooms and location of bulletproof windows, said to have been on Jerusalem Planning Administration website

Screen capture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's private residence on Gaza Street in Jerusalem. (iMaps)
Screen capture of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's private residence on Gaza Street in Jerusalem. (iMaps)

Detailed plans of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private Jerusalem apartment were available on a public website, showing the layout of the duplex home, including planned fortifications, a report said Tuesday.

The plans were taken down from the Jerusalem Planning Administration website at the request of the Haaretz daily, whose report did not say until when they had been posted.

They had been available for viewing by anyone who looked up the apartment address, 35 Gaza Street.

According to the report, the sketches showed sensitive information such as the location of specific rooms, the reinforced shelter room, internal stairs, doorways, windows and balconies. The plans also showed the location of windows described as “reinforced against ballistics.”

The Netanyahus’ apartment covers half of the second floor and the entirety of the third floor of the building, the report said. Plans show it has six rooms, a living room, a dinette, a laundry room, a reinforced bomb shelter room, two kitchens, three enclosed balconies and three toilets. It has a total living area of 290 square meters (347 square yards).

With extensive renovations still underway at the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street, Netanyahu has been spending his time at the private residence on nearby Gaza Street. Recently, work has been carried out to satisfy demands by the Shin Bet security service to protect the private apartment.

The plans were originally submitted to the Jerusalem District Planning Committee in 2002 and allowed for the enlargement of the apartment, enclosure of balconies and security arrangements. Netanyahu was not prime minister at the time, though he had been previously. Permission for the significant changes was apparently given retroactively from the time when he was still in office, according to the report. They are not available in the Jerusalem Municipality digital archive of all building files in the capital.

However, the municipality’s geographical information system does have high-resolution aerial images of the building from different angles that show some of the security arrangements at the site.

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

According to the report, it is the third time that plans of the Netanyahu homes have been published on the internet, in violation of security protocols. Several weeks ago, Haaretz reported that detailed schemes of Netanyhau’s private villa in Caesarea were temporarily available on the Hof Hacarmel District Council website site. In 2021, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that plans for the prime minister’s official residence on Balfour Street were also to be found on the Jerusalem municipal website.

The ongoing renovations at the official Balfour residence prevented former prime minister Naftali Bennett from using the site when he entered office in 2021, and his successor Yair Lapid stayed away as well.

Bennett chose to use his private Ra’anana home as his personal base of operations leading to extensive renovations that drew media attention for their large cost which ran into tens of millions of dollars. Ultimately, Bennett resigned before the work was completed.

According to Haaretz, recent reports have suggested the work at the official residence may be halted due to the advancement of another plan to relocate the official residence to an entirely new site, closer to the government quarter, near the Knesset.

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