Deputy Foreign Minister and Member of Knesset Ze'ev Elkin (Likud-Beytenu) defended Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu amid recent allegations that he spent a large sum of money to heat a private indoor swimming pool. "There is hardly a shabby house like that of the house on Balfour Street. The official residence of the Prime Minister hardly seems to be the house of the leader of a country," Minister Elkin stated on Monday to Galei Tzahal radio.
Construction of the relatively small historic Beit Aghion building began in 1936 by Edward Aghion, a Jewish-Greek merchant from Egypt and Jewish-German architect Richard Kauffmann. Peter II, King of Yugoslavia lived there from 1939–1940 and it later serves as a hospital for fighters of the Irgun Zvai Leumi before becoming a residence for government officials in the 1950s.