Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s family has made a formal request to extend its taxpayer-funded security detail that was supposed to end next month, due to new threats members of the family have received.
The cabinet approved only six months of protection for Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, and his children from the time he left the premiership on June 13, at the request of the Shin Bet Security Agency. But the Netanyahu family asked the relevant authorities in the Prime Minister’s Office to reconsider the decision.
A source close to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he was unaware of such a request and that the ministerial committee that would have to approve the request had not officially received it.
Netanyahu’s family has been protected since he returned to the Prime Minister’s Office in 2009.
As a former prime minister, Netanyahu will retain his own personal security detail – which includes bodyguards and a private armored car – for an additional 20 years, in accordance with Israeli law.
The security used to last five years (seven years when traveling abroad) past the prime minister’s term but it was extended in 2018 to provide additional security to Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert – the other two living former prime ministers – amid general threats from Iran.
Netanyahu’s sons, Avner and Yair, were notably the first children of any Israeli prime minister to be given state-funded personal bodyguards during their father’s term in office. His daughter, Noa Netanyahu-Roth, reportedly has not been provided the same level of security.