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Netanyahu wanted public to fund air conditioner repair in Caesarea home – report

Kan public broadcaster says the then-outgoing prime minister’s request was denied, and he had to pay for the system to be fixed out of his own pocket

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara address their supporters on the night of the Israeli elections, at Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara address their supporters on the night of the Israeli elections, at Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv, on March 3, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Benjamin Netanyahu requested that the state pay tens of thousands of shekels to fix the broken air conditioning system in his private home in Caesarea, shortly before he left office as prime minister, but was refused, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday.

According to the report, days before he was ousted as prime minister in June, Netanyahu asked officials in the Prime Minister’s Office to pay NIS 70,000-120,000 (approximately $21,000-37,000) in order to replace the chiller in the central air conditioning system in his Caesarea home.

“The Netanyahu family paid to fix the air conditioning in Caesarea from its own private funds,” said a statement from the current opposition leader in response to the report.

The family has in the past been accused of alleged misuse of public funds, but has always denied the accusations.

The Kan report also revealed that Netanyahu stayed recently in the presidential suite at the Dan Carmel Hotel in Haifa — for a fraction of the listed price.

The public broadcaster stated that the suite should have cost NIS 9,000 per night, but the Netanyahu family paid NIS 2,000.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea. (Video screenshot)

In response, the hotel chain said that “the former prime minister stayed at the Dan Carmel and paid himself. The hotel has never revealed details like these or any others about this guest or any others. We suggest not getting caught up in rumors and gossip.”

The opposition leader’s statement noted that “the former prime minister did not know there was a difference in the price between the room he reserved and what he received. When he was informed, he immediately ordered that the difference be paid.”

Netanyahu ended his tenure as prime minister on June 13, when he was replaced by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

He and his family moved out of the official prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem in the early hours of July 11, close to one month later. Since then, Kan reports, the family has largely been staying in hotels, in part due to the broken air conditioning system in Caesarea as well as Netanyahu’s late nights working in the Knesset. An apartment the family owns in Jerusalem is apparently being brought up to the necessary security standards for the family to live there.

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