The heads of the coalition parties published a statement on Saturday which strongly condemned the discussions in the High Court of Justice about a possible impeachment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The heads of the coalition parties strongly reject the illegitimate discussion in the High Court regarding the 'impeachment' of the Prime Minister," the heads wrote. "This is an illegal attempt to oust a sitting prime minister, which is no different from a military coup. No judicial entity, including the High Court, has even a fraction of legal authority for such an action. Only the people will elect the prime minister.
"And only the people, through their representatives in the Knesset, will decide whether to terminate his term. The people and their representatives will never accept a discussion in the courts about the possibility of a coup. They will never accept an illegal judicial annulment of the elections and the sovereignty of the people. Harming the Israeli democracy is an act that has a black flag flying over it, even when it is done under the cover of legal robes," the letter concluded.
The letter was signed by Yariv Levin (Likud), Aryeh Deri (Shas), Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party), Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit), Yitzhak Goldknopf and Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) and Avi Maoz (Noam).
Discussions about impeachment
At the end of January, it was reported that the A-G was considering impeaching PM Netanyahu after the NGO Movement for Quality Government in Israel petitioned the High Court. The letter by the coalition heads comes as a direct response to a High Court order stating that the PM and his A-G have to respond to the petition by next month.
Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid responded to the letter, saying that "24 hours after a terrible attack that claimed the lives of two children and another young man, and after another rocket at the residents of the south from the Gaza Strip, what do the detached coalition leaders choose to deal with? The Prime Minister's legal problems.
"More than anything else this proves why a prime minister with indictments and ministers who are convicted felons cannot continue to serve. Because they are busy only with themselves and with their personal interests. I suggest to the heads of the coalition to stop the crazy legislation and start dealing with the State of Israel," Lapid said.
"The Movement for the Quality of Government rejects with disgust the announcement of the coalition leaders, said the Movement for Quality Government in Israel. "Some of these party leaders are convicted criminals who do not recognize the supremacy of the rule of law and do not recognize the fact that the Basic Law: The Government determines the mechanism of the impeachment of the prime minister and does not even recognize the authority of the Supreme Court to decide on these issues, as they did in the case of the convicted criminal, Aryeh Deri."
"[Netanyahu] is in a sharp conflict of interest both personally and institutionally and his actions to completely destroy the justice system are better evidence than a thousand witnesses for the need to immediately impeach him," the statement concluded.
"Two children and a 20-year-old man are murdered in an attack, alerts in the south, terrorism is rampant and the heads of the coalition once again sign a letter of loyalty, not to the state, but to Netanyahu," wrote Labor Chairwoman MK Merav Michaeli on Twitter. "This government belongs to politicians who only see themselves and work only for themselves. So much detachment and so much damage."