Israeli MKs Protest Decision to Cut Short Debate of Bill to Seize Palestinian Land for Settlements

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A Palestinian shepherd walks near the Jewish settlement of Revava, near the West Bank Village of Salfit, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010. Danny Danon, a pro-settler lawmaker in Netanyahu's Likud Party, said Saturday that settlers have already moved equipment into the Revava settlement in the northern West Bank. He said activists would lay the cornerstone for a new neighborhood on Sunday, the last day of the slowdown, and planned additional construction Monday after the restrictions formally end."Building will begin there tomorrow afternoon and continue there on Monday," Danon said.(AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)
A Palestinian shepherd walks near the Jewish settlement of Revava, near the West Bank Village of Salfit, Sept. 25, 2010.Credit: AP

Knesset opposition members said on Wednesday they would not cooperate with a House Committee decision not to allow a filibuster against the bill to legalize expropriation of Palestinian land for settlements.

When debate over the controversial bill began on Tuesday, only two opposition MKs,Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) and Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) appeared in the Knesset to speak against the bill, also known as the 'Regularization bill.'

Both chose not to speak about the measure's content, focusing their comments on the House Committee’s decision to make rare use of an obscure section of the Knesset rules of order, Section 98.

This clause allows the committee to intervene and change the normal rules of debate in the Knesset plenum: Instead of 38 consecutive days of speeches granted to the opposition, the committee voted the plenum would vote on the measure l next Monday, allowing time for only three days of debate.

The opposition said it would resume speaking against the bill on Wednesday evening.

MK Merav Michaeli at a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, March 2016.Credit: Emil Salman

“It is possible to pass a law that crosses red lines, but in a manner that respects the Knesset rules of debate,” Michaeli told the Knesset.

“Those who are complaining that no discussion was held in the [security] cabinet about the tunnels [from Gaza] are fleeing from a Knesset discussion of this dangerous law. We oppose this law, which is not about ‘legalization’ but ‘lawlessness.’ We oppose a law that is disastrous for Israel and its damage is enormous. The attorney general who you chose said it, the prime minister himself said it.”

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