Knesset defense panel to hold first meeting in two months

By
January 8, 2014 23:02

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein voted in as panel chairman; Ben-Eliezer to lead meeting.

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Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein.

Yuli Edelstein 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is to hold its first meeting in two months on Thursday, after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was voted in as the prestigious panel’s chairman.

Thursday’s meeting is to be led by MK Binyamin Ben- Eliezer (Labor) and the committee is expected to vote on renewing Military Ombudsman Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick’s term for another five years, extending a prohibition for Mossad employees to unionize and several measures regarding reservists.

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The Knesset House Committee approved changes to the Knesset’s regulations that would make Edelstein chairman, but allow him to appoint temporary substitutes for each committee meeting or for a series of hearings.

“The amendment came because of disagreements on changes in the committee, following an initiative by the Knesset speaker,” House Committee chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud Beytenu), Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s candidate for the position, explained in the plenum.

“When the Knesset speaker is helpless, because a committee chairman stopped serving in the middle of a term, the House Committee has to solve the problem,” Hanegbi added.

Over the last two months, Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid were unable to agree on a replacement for Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, with the former preferring Hanegbi and the latter wanting Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah to fill the post.

The two decided on a rotation, but neither was willing to have his candidate be second.

Last month, Edelstein decided to take matters into his own hands and nominated himself as head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

However, he intends to only hold the position symbolically and appoint a different panel member to substitute for him in each meeting.


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