Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman on Tuesday night denied reports that he was planning to increase the powers of the rabbinical courts to let them rule on matters relating to money and children in divorce cases. He said that someone in the Justice Ministry had "apparently leaked a false report." Speaking at a lawyers conference in Tel Aviv, Neeman slammed MKs for "trying to make headlines about fighting against the supposed move without even speaking to me or asking me about it." Knesset Law Committee chairman David Rotem on Monday had called the suggestion a violation of the status quo and said it would harm an entire sector of women and children. Rotem told Israel Radio he would tell Neeman that the reported plan was contrary to coalition agreements, which stipulated that the status quo on matters of religion and state would be preserved. Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, head of Bar-Ilan's Rackman Center for the Advancement of the Status of Women and Israel's representative on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), had told the radio station that the minister was trying to strike a fatal blow to the rights of women and children.