MKs demand defense panel be called to discuss kidnapping

Committee chairman Elkin: Confidential subcommittees are constantly updated.

The Knesset
Opposition MKs criticized Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud Beytenu) Monday for not calling a meeting following the abduction of three boys in Gush Etzion Thursday.
“From the moment the kidnapping reached the press to this moment, the committee was not called to a meeting even once to receive reports on activities that are taking place and discuss the special situation, even though it could lead to a military conflict,” MK Nachman Shai (Labor) said.
Shai lamented that the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee was “pushed aside” and cannot fulfill its central role to supervise the Executive Branch, due to what he called a policy by the government to ignore the sensitive panel.
“I call on Elkin to stop this behavior before it is too late and we get to the point when we ask ‘where were we?’” Shai added.
According to Elkin, members of a relevant subcommittee, probably the Subcommittee on Intelligence, are constantly updated.
Both the content and the schedule of Foreign Affairs and Defense subcommittee meetings are confidential, so that not only are the updates the MKs are receiving not public knowledge, but the fact that they are receiving them and from whom is secret as well.
If the general committee is called to a meeting, the identity of the person who is to present information is made public, but the content is confidential.
Elkin pointed out that Labor chose not to put Shai in the relevant subcommittee and said if he has any complaints, they should go to the head of his faction.
MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) sent a letter to Elkin asking him to call a meeting.
“It cannot be that there is no parliamentary supervision when reservists are being called in and far-reaching operational proposals are being discussed,” Horowitz wrote.