The Knesset approves “preliminary reading” on 3 bills

HipHop24  - HipHop24
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The Knesset approves "preliminary reading" on 3 bills

The Israeli Knesset (parliament) approved, on Tuesday evening, a “preliminary reading” of three bills, two of which aim to control the prospective government coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu over the state’s security joints.

According to Israeli law, these bills need to vote on three more readings to become law.

With a majority of 62 supporters (out of 120 deputies in the Knesset) against 53 opponents, the Knesset approved what is known in the media as the “Shield Law”.

This law aims to allow the head of the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) “Shas” party, Aryeh Deri, to become a minister despite the fact that he was sentenced last January to a suspended one-year prison sentence for tax violations, according to the private Channel 12.

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The project calls for amending the “Basic Law” (which serves as the constitution for Israel), which prevents those who have been sentenced to prison from holding a ministerial position, so that those sentenced to suspended prison sentences are excluded.

The second project is known as the “Ben Gvir Law” and was supported by 61 deputies against 53 opposition.

The project proposes to amend the “police decree” so that it is subject to the government, specifically to the prospective Minister of National Security, hard-line MP Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the “Otzma Yehudit” (Jewish Power) party, and to transform the police commissioner (commander) into a subordinate to the minister.

The “police decree” is the law that defines its tasks and regulates the relations between its general commander and the Minister of Internal Security (it became “National Security”) and grants almost complete autonomy to the police and its commander.

Before the vote, outgoing Homeland Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said the bill aims to “harm the independence of the police and turn it into a tool in the hands of politicians.”

He warned that it would “destroy the independence of the police and seriously damage Israeli democracy… This is a real coup. It will turn Israel into a police state.”

After that, 61 deputies voted in favor of what is known in the media as the “Smotrich Law” bill, while 51 opposed it.

This project allows Representative Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the “Religious Zionism” party, to obtain the powers of a minister in the Ministry of Defense, as it proposes adding provisions to the “Basic Law” according to which an additional minister can be appointed in the ministry to be responsible with the Minister of Defense for certain areas within the scope of the ministry’s work.

Criticizing the project, outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Creating a ministry within a ministry is not recommended in any organizational structure, and certainly not when it comes to security matters.”

And he continued, “What I understand from the coalition agreements (between Netanyahu and the leaders of the right-wing camp under his leadership) is that the (expected) government is calling for the establishment of a second defense ministry for Judea and Samaria affairs (the biblical designation for the West Bank). This is the role of the bill. The first lesson in the army is unity of command. “.

The three bills will be referred to the “Organizing Committee” (regulating the work of the Knesset and parliamentary committees) to determine which committees will discuss them in preparation for putting them to vote for the first reading.

Earlier Tuesday, the Knesset elected Yariv Levin of the right-wing Likud party (led by Netanyahu) as its interim president, to succeed Mickey Levy of the centrist “There is a Future” party.

Netanyahu has until December 21 to form a government, and he can request to extend it for another 4 days, subject to the approval of Israeli President Isaac Herzog, who can assign another figure to form the government in the event that Netanyahu fails.

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