Israeli Military Action Not Limited by Election Season, AG Says

Attorney general's statements unrelated to air strike in Syria or to the question of whether Israel is behind it, his spokesman says.

Amir Oren
Amir Oren
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Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Amir Oren
Amir Oren

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has allowed the government to carry out military action even during election season on Tuesday.

Justice Ministry spokesman, who was asked to clarify the AG's position, was not queried specifically about Sunday's strike in Syria against Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard targets. However, he added voluntarily that the AG's statements have nothing to do with the incident and the question of whether Israel is behind it.

Weinstein regularly takes part in the security cabinet's meetings, weighing in on the legal aspects of military operations.

The ministry's spokesman said that "in general, election season does not limit the IDF's operations."

Last month, Weinstein forbade the government from making several senior-level appointments – such as police chief, prison service commander and director general of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission – due to the coming elections.

He did, however, permit the defense minister and IDF chief to appoint army staff to senior positions.

On the eve of the 2001 elections, Elyakim Rubinstein, then attorney general, forbade far-reaching diplomatic actions which could be carried on to the next government. Rubinstein wrote at the time that the authority of the outgoing government, which is meant to prevent a regime void until the next government is sworn in, does not extend to "dramatic, extensive and fateful new decisions, unless faced with no other choice, such as when employing the IDF for defense during wartime."

Weinstein, who was asked if he agrees with Rubinstein's stance and whether he considers military action which could start a chain reaction leading to war as a defensive action, Weinstein replied via his spokesman that approving IDF actions during election season "accords with the aforementioned Attorney General's (Rubinstein's) stance."

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