Sara Netanyahu faces new controversy over hotel

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"At a time when the government is cutting the budget for family allowances and old-age pensioners, Mrs. Netanyahu owes us an explanation of why she indulges in such luxury," Israel Radio commentator Iris Mizrahi said.

Shai Bazak, the premier's spokesman, said Sara Netanyahu had nothing to do with ordering the suite, and decided not to make the trip as soon as she learned of the cost.

Bazak said the Foreign Ministry had made the arrangements for the suite, and claimed the story was leaked to hurt her image.