As political pressure mounted on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the signing of an open-ended ceasefire with Hamas on Tuesday, Ynet has learned that the prime minister consulted Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein over the legality of circumventing a Cabinet vote on the ceasefire, and unilaterally deciding to end the war in Gaza.
Weinstein told Netanyahu that he had no legal obligation to convene the Cabinet for a vote on the Egyptian-brokered deal with Hamas. The attorney general was sure to add, however, that it was important to take "other considerations" into account. Other senior jurists have since said that while technically legal, the move somewhat contradicts the spirit of the law.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu circumvented a cabinet vote and unilaterally agreed to a ceasefire with Hamas. (Photo: Reuters.)
Cabinet ministers who supported continued military action against Hamas, including Economy Minister Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman of Yisrael Beiteinu, expressed anger and alarm when they were updated on the ceasefire proposal after it had already been agreed to, leading some to question the legality of Netanyahu's political maneuvering.
At a press conference held last week, Netanyahu lashed out at government ministers and boasted that his Cabinet had been convened no less that 27 times over the course of Operation Protective Edge. After the ceasefire was already signed and agreed, however, Bennett demanded that the Cabinet convene for a vote, only to be refused by the prime minister.
Meanwhile, Lieberman slammed the open-ended ceasefire deal reached between Israel and Hamas, saying that Israel should not make political agreements with Hamas, hinting at greater tensions beginning to grow within Netanyahu's governing coalition.
"As long as Hamas controls Gaza it is impossible to guarantee the safety of Israel and no accord can be reached – be it political or military" Lieberman wrote in a reference to both failed peace talks and the truce.