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Photo by: Knesset spokesperson
The Knesset goes back to work in earnest
By LAHAV HARKOV
08/02/2013
Plenum meetings set to begin on Monday; Meretz MK Horowitz forms first new caucus to boost ties with neighboring states.
 
The Knesset will begin work again next week after a temporary Knesset House Committee was formed to allow lawmakers to get back to business.

Acting Knesset Speaker Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) called Knesset meetings for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in which new MKs will give their first speeches and ministers in the outgoing government will give an overview of their activities.

“I’m satisfied with the plenum’s speedy return to activity and that there will be a respectable platform to say farewell to departing ministers and for exposure to new MKs to their peers in the Knesset and to the public,” Knesset Secretary Yardena Maller-Horowitz said on Thursday, when the heads of the 19th Knesset’s 12 factions met to form a temporary House Committee that can authorize the plenum’s agenda.

The committee has 29 members and is led by MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu), coalition chairman in the previous Knesset.

The temporary House Committee can choose the temporary members of two committees, Foreign Affairs and Defense and Finance, which can call emergency meetings if necessary, until permanent committees are formed.

In addition, after coalition agreements are signed and parties agree on the makeup of the Knesset’s committee, the temporary House Committee will bring it to a vote in the plenum.

Every faction with four or more MKs will have at least one representative in the temporary House Committee, and those with less than four can send observers to its meetings.

Meanwhile, as parliamentary activity begins again, MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) formed the first new caucus of the 19th Knesset.

Horowitz initiated a Caucus for Regional Cooperation, which is meant to strengthen ties between Israel and its neighbors in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean.

“Regional cooperation is based first and foremost on diplomatic progress, but sprawls far beyond treaties and has to do with all areas of life: Economics, commerce, culture, the environment, research, media, health, tourism,” Horowitz explained.

The Meretz MK said that cooperation in different fields deepens treaties and ties between countries and nations, and is a necessary means of promoting understanding and appeasement.

He added that the new caucus is a way of expressing the desire of many MKs to cooperate with neighboring countries for the welfare of all the citizens of the region.
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