Yair Lapid to live in apartment in prime ministerial compound

He will stay in an apartment in a house inside the security perimeter called Villa Salameh, where security guards slept in recent decades.

 FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid – he will be the one who meets and greets Biden. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
FOREIGN MINISTER Yair Lapid – he will be the one who meets and greets Biden.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid plans to move into an apartment in the same compound as the Prime Minister’s Residence when he becomes premier on Wednesday, while the larger home is under heavy renovation, sources close to Lapid confirmed.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s residence was a matter of controversy over the past year. He did not move into the official Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem because the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) sought to make extensive reservations to better secure the structure.

However, securing Bennett’s Ra’anana home came at a great expense to the taxpayer and inconvenience to his neighbors, who appealed to the courts to have roadblocks and other security apparatus removed.

Villa Salameh

Lapid asked to move into the Balfour Street compound, despite the construction on the residence.

He will stay in an apartment inside the security perimeter that is known as Villa Salameh, which is where security guards for the prime minister slept in recent decades.

A view of the house of the Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem. June 07, 2002. (credit: NATI SHOCHAT/FLASH 90)A view of the house of the Israeli Prime Minister in Jerusalem. June 07, 2002. (credit: NATI SHOCHAT/FLASH 90)

The house used to be the Guatemalan embassy in the 1980s.

The structure’s full name is Villa Hana Salameh and is not the same as the other Villa Salameh about 300 meters away on Balfour Street. That house, Villa Constantine Salameh, is one of the largest mansions in Jerusalem and is home to the Belgian consulate.