Benjamin Netanyahu to leave Israel PM’s residence no later than July 10

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Maya Alleruzzo/AP) (AP)
16:49pm, Sun 20 Jun 2021
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Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his family will leave the country’s official prime minister’s residence no later than July 10, Mr Netanyahu and Israel’s new prime minister said.

Mr Netanyahu was unseated as prime minister earlier this month.

Foreign minister Yair Lapid and prime minister Naftali Bennett succeeded in cobbling together a government in the aftermath of Israel’s fourth consecutive election in two years.

Mr Netanyahu, who served for 12 years as prime minister until Bennett’s government was sworn in last week, has yet to move out of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

The residence on Balfour Street was the scene of weekly protests calling on Mr Netanyahu to resign while on trial for corruption charges in the past year.

Israeli protesters march with a signs that reads “Bibi , last Saturday in Balfour start packing” before the transition of power (Ariel Schalit/AP) (AP)

Mr Netanyahu refused to step down from office and has denied any wrongdoing.

The country’s repeated elections were largely a referendum on his fitness to serve.

In a joint statement late on Saturday, Mr Bennett and Mr Netanyahu’s offices said they had agreed that the Netanyahu family would leave the residence no later than July 10.

Thereafter, the statement said, “the residence will transfer to the use of prime minister Bennett”.

Mr Netanyahu has repeatedly vowed to topple the newly formed government, which he has called a “dangerous leftist government”.

It is comprised of eight parties, including several headed by former allies and proteges of Mr Netanyahu, smaller liberal parties and an Islamist faction.

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