Plans for PM's Home Can Be Viewed Online

Plans for security-related construction on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home and official residence in Jerusalem can be viewed in full on the Jerusalem Municipality website, Haaretz has discovered.

The plans for the prime minister's private home on Aza Road were posted because they entailed changes to the outer lines of the building. The alterations, completed at the time Netanyahu was finance minister, were made to enhance security in and around the building.

A simple search of the municipality's Web site reveals a request "to the northeast, to replace the existing chain-link fence with a dense metal fence... as well as to install a small security guard building. The sidewalk will have electric barrier pillars and a parking spot marked off for a security vehicle."

The request, which was formulated by the Finance Ministry's security department, reveals the type of threats against which Netanyahu's house was being protected, such as gunfire, in instructing to "close off the outer steps on every floor and close off all roof balconies."

The information pertaining to Netanyahu's official residence on 2 Balfour Street in Jerusalem is also available online. It states that in 2007, a guard post was erected on the southeast side of the building and that in that same year a security fence was installed around the house, despite objections from the neighbors. In 1997, the parking area was expanded; the 1997 plan included a sketch of the house, its size and the size of the yard.

Information on the Web site pertaining to the prime minister's office on 3 Kaplan Street reveals the location of security facilities, emergency staircases and materials from which certain security elements were constructed. For example a shaded structure, 4.17 meters high, was put up under which car checks would be conducted. In 2006 an emergency staircase was built. The location of the security command post was determined based on the need to service weapons outside the office, the information states.

Swift responses from security

Security is tight around the above-mentioned facilities. Attempts to photograph them or the prime minister's convoy usually earn a swift response from security guards. Anyone who stops for two or three minutes near any of these locations or who sits on a bench near them is immediately interrogated by security to prevent the collection of information. However, these steps apparently neglected to prevent the classified information from appearing on the Internet.

In 2006, Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the municipality's Web site had been hacked. Following that report, information on these sites was blocked. However, the city recently installed a new search engine allowing surfers to type in an address and pull up all the information the old search engine had blocked.

The Jerusalem Municipality issued the following response: "This is not secret information, but rather a request for a building permit from 2004. The request was submitted by the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry and was dealt with like all other requests to the municipality."

There was no response from the Prime Minister's Bureau at press time.