The Israeli Channel 10 reported on Friday that per Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
office's request, a special "rest chamber" was installed in the airplane which took the PM and his wife to Margaret Thatcher's
funeral in London.
According to the report, the chamber included a double-bed and was surrounded by four walls to give the couple absolute privacy, costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of shekels.
Channel 10 explained that though the PM's office offered Israeli airlines to bid for the plane to take the delegation, only El Al
had a plane big enough to accommodate the extra chamber.
Netanyahu couple arriving at Thatcher's funeral (Photo: Gettyimages)
The airline received $427,000 for the flight, $127,000 of which were paid for the chamber and its complex installation, which required electricians, engineers, porters and additional workers.
The PM's office stated in response: "The protocol for the prime minister's flights to state meetings abroad has not changed, and is the same as it was in the past.
"According to security instructions, the PM only flies with Israeli airlines. The PM's office gave the requirements for the London
flight to a travel agency and it chose El Al.
"According to the PM's instructions, the expenses for the visit, which lasted less than 48 hours, were reduced as much as possible."
Regarding the rest chamber, Netanyahu's office stated: "The flight was scheduled for midnight after a hectic day. The following day, the PM was supposed to represent the State of Israel
in a number of formal international events, including meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"In light of this, it is appropriate that Israel's Prime Minister will be able to rest the night between such busy days."
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