'Nuclear bunker is being built in Olmert's office': Report

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office issued a statement Thursday strongly denying a report that Olmert's residence was being outfitted with a bunker that can withstand a nuclear or chemical attack.

'Nuclear bunker is being built in Olmert's office': Report

The PMO called the Yediot Ahronot report "unfounded and misleading." The statement said workers were merely adding a "safe room," a room with thick concrete walls and metal-shuttered windows that is a feature of many Israeli buildings. Israeli construction codes require such rooms to protect residents in case of rocket attacks.

"No atomic bunker is being constructed at the prime minister's official residence, or a bunker equipped with special filters or any special equipment," the statement said.

Yediot Ahronot had claimed that workers at Olmert's official Jerusalem residence were thickening walls, digging, and installing air purification equipment capable of countering chemical agents.

Yediot said that the work at Olmert's residence follows the renovation of a bunker underneath the building housing his office, where Cabinet ministers are supposed to convene in case of an attack on Israel's government center in Jerusalem.

As part of the push to protect Israel's leaders from a a non-conventional attack, the paper wrote, Israel is also building a giant nuclear bunker in the hills several kilometers (miles) outside Jerusalem that will be accessible via a tunnel leading from government offices inside the city.

The bunker is supposed to house the military's headquarters and top government officials if the country comes under nuclear attack. Work on the bunker began several years ago and is expected to end in 2011, the report said.

Agencies & Yediot Ahronot

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Aralık 2007, 13:09