PM Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz in the South.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
The Knesset may not discuss the leaked State Comptroller report on Operation Protective Edge, its legal adviser Eyal Yinon determined Monday.
The opposition submitted enough signatures from MKs to hold a meeting on the topic during the Knesset’s current recess, but Yinon said comptroller reports can only be legally discussed in the plenum after they are submitted to the Knesset.
Among the issues preventing the report from being debated are the fact that what was leaked to the press is a draft, not the final version, which still is to be released to the public, and that the leak was a criminal act carrying a prison sentence. In addition, the leaked draft does not include responses from the people mentioned in the report, which the comptroller is supposed to take into consideration in the final draft.
“A formal discussion in the Knesset of a draft that was leaked, against the law, is like cooperating with this grave act,” Yinon said. “In addition, discussing a draft that was not submitted to the MKs harms the right of those criticized to a fair process before the Comptroller and their right to respond to the discussion in the Knesset.”
The draft of the report, which is highly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, among others, was leaked last week.
Meretz faction chairman Ilan Gilon, who initiated the petition to hold a recess meeting on the report, called on Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein not to accept Yinon’s opinion.
“Shame on the Knesset that does not allow the opposition to make its opinion heard about the government’s failures,” Gilon said. “A serious and early discussion by the Knesset will bring up deep questions and serious public debate.”