C'tee allows Egypt border fence

Legislation halting salaries for MKs with criminal offenses also approved.

By DAN IZENBERG
July 12, 2010 02:26
2 minute read.
Soldiers stand watch on the Egyptian border.

egyptian border 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday approved a private member’s bill calling for the construction of a security fence along the Israeli-Egyptian border, but said the bill, proposed by MK Ya’acov Katz (National Union), should be coordinated with the government.

Likud MK Yariv Levine told The Jerusalem Post that the government had already decided to build a fence and therefore did not oppose Katz’s bill, but insisted that the government have control over the terms of its planning and construction.

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In another development, the committee approved a bill proposed by Levine, Kadima MK Yisrael Hasson, Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin and others, giving the Knesset the right to halt salary, pension and other payments and benefits to MKs or former MKs who have been convicted, indicted or suspected of criminal offenses subject to punishments of five years in prison or more.

The bill is aimed at former MK Azmi Bishara, who fled the country after learning that he was under investigation by police for allegedly having spied for Hizbullah.

Even though he resigned from his position and escaped abroad, Bishara is still receiving his pension from the Knesset.

According to the proposal, “at least 10 MKs are entitled to ask the attorney-general to declare that a member of Knesset who is suspected [of] or charged with a criminal offense whose punishment is five years in prison or more, which he committed during his term as an MK, or if [he] was convicted of such a crime, and... did not show up for investigation or trial for which he was summoned, or for carrying out his sentence without good reason... the Knesset is empowered, in accordance with the recommendation of the Knesset House Committee, to decide to halt salary and other payments to which he is entitled as an MK, either in part or entirely.”

Some committee members added a reservation to their approval, demanding that the attorney-general not be involved in the procedure.

The committee also approved two bills – one initiated by United Torah Judaism MKs Uri Maklev and Moshe Gafni, and the other by Labor MK Eitan Cabel – dealing with payments to the health clinics. Currently there is a ceiling on the amount of money that a family must pay to the clinics.

If the family pays more than that amount, the clinic takes the money and the onus is on the family to prove that it paid too much.

The Maklev-Gafni bill calls to reverse the situation.

Cabel’s bill deals with the current situation whereby health clinic subscribers must make a quarterly payment for extra medical services, such as a visit to a specialist, among other things.

At the beginning of each new quarter, the subscriber must pay again for the extra service, even if fewer than three months have elapsed since the last payment.

According to Cabel’s bill, the quarterly period would be calculated from the first day the extra payment was made, and the subscriber would not have to pay again until three months had gone by.

Also on Sunday, 400 Eilat residents protested against the increasingly common phenomenon of illegal migrants flocking to vacation destinations for work.

Municipality workers and the mayor took part in the protests to demand government action to resolve the issue.


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