A month after losing the premiership and after more than 12 consecutive years in power, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his family left the prime minister’s residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem early on Sunday.
Before their departure, several moving trucks were observed near the house on Balfour Street, with the family leaving shortly before midnight.
The Netanyahus will now move to their home in Ceaserea until their home on the capital’s Gaza Street will be renovated, where the Likud leader and his family lived before he was re-elected as prime minister in 2009.
The Prime Minister’s residence, located on the corner of Smolenskin and Balfour streets in the upscale Rehavia district of Israel’s capital, will be officially handed over to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The newly elected prime minister is not expected to move to Balfour, but will instead continue to live with his family in their home in Ra’anana. Bennett will reportedly be staying in Balfour during the week, where he will hold meetings and official events.
Shin Bet’s domestic security agency is said to be making security upgrades at the Balfour residence at a cost of between NIS 10-15 million.
The Jerusalem Building has been the official residence of Israeli Prime Ministers since 1974.
In recent years, the place has been an epicenter of weekly demonstrations against Netanyahu’s rule.