Shimon Peres is expected to temporarily move into an apartment in Jerusalem's Mamilla neighborhood on Sunday after defective infrastructure led to flooding at the official presidential complex.
The temporary 450 square-meter (about 4,800 square feet) flat, located near the Old City, is owned by an ultra-Orthodox American and costs $5,000 a month. It boasts a large living room, a bedroom and three dens. It is fully furnished. "All the president has to do is bring his clothes," said Yoram Raviv, deputy director-general at the President's Residence.
Flooding at presidential complex (Photo: Yosef Avi Yair Angel)
"After inspecting other options, we chose this apartment because it is fit to host world leaders and also meets the stringent security requirements," he said.
The Shin Bet is set to install surveillance cameras in and around the apartment, where Peres is expected to hold meetings for at least two weeks – until renovation of the main reception hall at the President's Residence is completed.
The renovation is expected to cost between 2.5 and 3 million shekels ($660,000 - $790,000). Sources at the presidential complex explained that about of third of the cost will be covered by insurance, while the rest of the money will come from the Presidential Residence's budget and the Treasury.
"The core infrastructure – water, plumbing, electricity and air-conditioning – has been neglected and the building, which has never undergone extensive renovation, does not meet safety standards," Raviv said.
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