Leaked photos show shabby side of PM’s house
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Leaked photos show shabby side of PM’s house

Snaps of peeling paint and humble garden furniture could be meant to counter accusations of overspending and opulence

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Photographs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence from a meeting of Likud leaders on Feb. 11, 2015 were leaked to Army Radio. Some believe the photos were deliberately sent to the reporter to combat the recent attacks on the prime minister's luxury. (Screen capture: Ido Benjabi/Army Radio Twitter)
Photographs of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence from a meeting of Likud leaders on Feb. 11, 2015 were leaked to Army Radio. Some believe the photos were deliberately sent to the reporter to combat the recent attacks on the prime minister's luxury. (Screen capture: Ido Benjabi/Army Radio Twitter)

After a meeting Wednesday night at the Prime Minister’s Residence, photos were leaked to Army Radio showing a decidedly less luxurious side of Benjamin Netanyahu’s home.

The prime minister has been under especially heavy scrutiny recently over allegations of financial improprieties and excessive spending.

But the photos released by Army Radio tell a different tale.

The peeling paint and store-bought furniture featured in the pictures led some to believe the photos were deliberately leaked following the meeting of Likud leaders, Arutz Sheva reported.

Accusations of overspending have dogged Netanyahu for several years. He came under fire in 2013 when it emerged that he spent NIS 10,000 per year of state money on ice cream.

In January, the Zionist Union’s Tzipi Livni charged that the prime minister’s residence’s monthly wine bill alone equaled many Israelis’ salaries. “The [amount] of alcohol Netanyahu drinks per month is like the minimum wage earned by millions of Israelis,” she said at a cultural event in Rishon Lezion.

In a long Facebook post last month, Netanyahu hit out at “false accusations against me and my wife that seek to topple the Likud and bring the left to power led by Tzipi and Bougie [Herzog].”

Netanyahu lashed out at the Israeli press in the post, saying the issue was “old” and negligible,” and accused “powerful elements” in the media of slandering his wife to undermine his leadership.

“All of this aims to detract attention from what is really important — who will lead the country,” he wrote.

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