The incoming Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee held its first meeting on Monday under chairwoman MK Orna Barbivai (Yesh Atid) and received briefings from key officials about Iran and other intelligence updates.
Officially, the committee is still a temporary panel until a new government is formed. Nevertheless, Barbivai wasted no time in asserting an oversight role on national security issues.
The committee heard from IDF intelligence analysis chief Brig.-Gen. Amit Saar and IDF Iran strategy head Brig.-Gen. Oren Setter.
Barbivai set up subcommittees for security, led by Labor MK Omer Bar Lev; the home front, led by Shas MK Michael Malkieli; and oversight of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), led by Barbivai herself.
Members of the oversight committee for the Shin Bet include former Mossad deputy chief and Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak, former Shin Bet chief and Likud MK Avi Dichter, former IDF deputy chief and Meretz MK Yair Golan, New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar and Yisrael Beytenu MK Eli Avidar.
At the start of the session, Barbivai said: “We are living in exceptional times both in regard to near and more distant threats... and the political chaos... Everyone who sits here will do all they can to ensure that maintaining state security will be the best it can be.”
Initially, the committee only has temporary status, but it would exercise its full oversight powers to make sure the state is properly pursuing its security priorities, she said.