Labor-Gesher Asks for Formation of Knesset Committee to Deal With Netanyahu Immunity

Netanyahu has 30 days to request that the Knesset grant him immunity so he may avoid a criminal trial, but since Israel's first election was held this year in April, no new House Committee has been appointed

Amir Peretz and Orly Levy-Abekasis at the opening of the Labor-Gesher campaign for the September elections in the southern Israeli city of Ofakim on August 11, 2019.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The Labor-Gesher Knesset list demanded on Thursday that a parliamentary committee be set up and authorized to deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s immunity. With a transitional government currently in place, no such committee exists, making it impossible to move forward on the indictments filed against Netanyahu on Thursday.

In a written demand to Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, Labor’s legal adviser Omri Segev wrote: “Under clause 4 of ‘Knesset Members Immunity, Rights and Duties Law” of 1951, every MK, including the prime minister, may ask the Knesset to determine that he is immune to the criminal charges he is facing.

Regrettably, its seems none of the current Knesset’s members will be able to set up a government, so it is presumed the Knesset Committee in the 23rd Knesset will be formed only in about six months, and even that is extremely doubtful.

“The current circumstances, in which the prime minister is charged in three different cases for serious offenses, bring the Knesset and the entire state to a political, social and diplomatic standstill and to unnecessary third elections within one year.”

“Therefore, I ask you to act to set up a Knesset committee capable of dealing with the immunity of Knesset members who require it, in the hope that after their personal affairs are settled the country’s residents can heave a sigh of relief and that a third Knesset election is avoided, preventing unnecessary delay in the criminal procedures pending against them.”