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New Israeli Minister issues quit notice to Netanyahu following his downfall – Report

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Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sent a message to opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu which stipulated that Netanyahu must leave the official prime ministerial residence at Balfour Street in Jerusalem within two weeks, N12 reported on Friday night.

In addition, N12 also reported that the Yesh Atid MK Vladimir Beliak will propose a new amendment next week to guarantee that outgoing prime ministers will not vacate the official residence any later than 14-days after the swearing in of a new government.

The amendment will reportedly not affect Netanyahu retroactively, but is intended to establish the practice as a norm for future governments.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu’s family has been packing up their belongings at the residence, which has been their home for the past 12 years, for several days now.

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The process is expected to last a few weeks, though N12 has reported that the legal adviser for the PMO has not yet set an official date for the transfer.

The Balfour residence – located on the corner of Smolenskin and Balfour streets in Jerusalem’s Talbiyeh neighborhood – has been a central point in politics in recent years due to the Netanyahu family’s insistence on remaining in the home even during coalition negotiations.

This has also led it to become the main site of a massive weekly protest movement to oust Netanyahu from power, which ran for over a year, culminating in massive celebrations which took place after the new government was sworn in on Sunday.

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Last month, Balfour protesters from the Crime Minister movement taunted Netanyahu by bringing over a large pile of boxes, taken in a van labeled “Crime Minister Movers,” to tell Netanyahu that he was on his way out of leadership.

It is estimated that Netanyahu will relocate to his home in Caesarea for several months while his apartment in Jerusalem is fitted with security details.

Bennett, who was sworn in as prime minister on Sunday, is not expected to move with his family to Jerusalem. He will likely continue to stay with his wife, Gilat, and four children in their home in Ra’anana to avoid uprooting the children from their schools and friends.
Bennett does, however, plan on using the Balfour residence for evenings he will remain in the capital, as well as official events, such as hosting foreign dignitaries.

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In 1999, after losing the election to Ehud Barak, Netanyahu and his wife Sara took six weeks before vacating the residence. In 2016, during the negotiations to evacuate the illegal outpost of Amona in the West Bank, Netanyahu told the settlers he knew what it was like to lose a home.

“After the election in 1999, with no warning, I and my family were kicked out of Balfour,” Netanyahu reportedly said at the time. “Just like that with all our things we were kicked out to the street. We had to go to the Sheraton Plaza Hotel. It was a terrible feeling.”

Credit: Jerusalem Post

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