Nearly four years after deciding to sell their apartment, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his wife Nili Priel signed a deal to sell their Akirov Towers apartment in Tel Aviv for NIS 26.5 million (roughly $7 million). Barak's profit stands at some NIS 14.5 million ($3.87 million).
Akirov Towers in Tel Aviv (Photo: Michael Kramer)
The apartment stretches over 450 square meters at one of the highest floors in the three-tower luxury compound. It was purchased by an unknown foreign company, however some real estate elements estimated that an Israeli buyer had registered the deal under a foreign company he owns to remain anonymous.
Barak and Priel are planning to move to another luxury apartment they purchased two years ago at the Assuta compound in northern Tel Aviv for which they paid NIS 8 million.
'Source of alienation'
Barak explained his decision to sell the apartment on his Facebook page. "My wife Nili and I decided that the sale was inevitable faced with the recognition that this place of residence created a sense of alienation and detachment from vast sectors of the public. "
Referring to his earlier decision to purchase the apartment, he wrote: "After many years in service of the state and the IDF and immediately after leaving my post as prime minister in 2001, I turned to the private sector for six years. During this time I worked hard to earn what I own. Throughout this period I have kept by businesses transparent and needless to say paid all my taxes. My wife and I purchased the apartment in the Akirov Towers as an investment and in order to live in."
Barak further added, "Having returned to public life it was hard not to notice the criticism leveled at my place of residence and I didn't think it right to disregard it for very long. We have decided to move to a smaller and less expensive apartment."
The defense minister took on a more personal note when he described his less than privileged upbringing in a kibbutz. "I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I definitely got the tools that enabled me to take responsibility for my destiny and my future," he said.
"I believe that the state and society need to give each person equal opportunity but also demand participation and responsibility."
Yoav Zitun contributed to this report
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