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January 17, 2017 3:51 pm

Billion-Shekel Compound for Israeli PM, With Underground Command Center ‘Bunker’ for National Emergencies, Approved by Jerusalem Building, Planning Committee

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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A view of what the new compound for the Israeli prime minister will look like when built. Photo: Channel 10.

A view of what the new compound for the Israeli prime minister will look like when built. Photo: Channel 10.

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee has approved a plan to erect a massive compound to house the office and private residence of the prime minister, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the compound will be built in the “government precinct” —  known by Israelis as Kiryat Hamemshala — located in the neighborhood of Givat Ram, where the Supreme Court is situated, and not far from the Knesset and one of the Hebrew University campuses.

The structure is expected to have between five and eight stories, and an area designated for official ceremonies. It will also include a huge underground “bunker,” to be used by the prime minister and representatives of the civil and defense establishment during times of national emergency. The cost of the project is estimated at NIS 1 billion ($262.3 million).

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Today, the prime minister’s residence is located in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia. Its official name is Beit Aghion and was built in the late 1930s.

In 2009, the Israeli government approved the Almog Project to combine the prime minister’s living quarters and office, but its estimated cost at the time — NIS 650 million (approximately $170 million) — sparked criticism for its alleged extravagance, and the plan was canceled.

In 2014, the idea to move the Israeli leader’s home to the area of his office resurfaced and was approved.

On Tuesday, the compound in question was given the official green light.

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