מחאה נגד חוקי הקורונה
Demonstrators in Tel Aviv protest aspects of the coronavirus draft bill
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Cabinet ministers

Ministers okay draft bill defining government coronavirus powers

The draft, amended after public protests, ensures continued operation of Knesset and courts, protects citizens' right to protest and ensures budgetary accountability for government measures

Moran Azulay |
Published: 06.09.20 , 21:22
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Tuesday approved a draft bill to define the government's powers to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, known as the "coronavirus law."
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  • The draft includes amendments to an earlier version that were made following public comments and protests.
    קבינט הקורונהקבינט הקורונה
    Cabinet ministers
    (Photo: GPO)
    The changes were made by Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn in coordination with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz and Health Minister Yuli Edelstein.
    It does not include a section on Shin Bet security service powers to track Israelis infected with the virus, which was an emergency measure put in place at the beginning of the pandemic and which the cabinet on Sunday decided to halt.
    The amended draft also includes an extension of Knesset authority to oversee government steps to deal with the virus's spread, assurances that the work of the Knesset and the courts will not be halted by the government, protections for the right to protest and a requirement to show the budgetary source for any cost-incurring measure implemented by the government.
    מחאה נגד חוקי הקורונהמחאה נגד חוקי הקורונה
    Demonstrators in Tel Aviv protest aspects of the coronavirus draft bill
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    The ministers also approved a 45-day extension of emergency regulations regarding the enforcement of quarantine, allowing the Knesset time to complete the legislative process.
    The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee is also able to extend the regulations for an additional 45 days.
    Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued a statement about the draft bill, saying it was jointly penned by the Health and Finance ministries along with the Prime Minister's Office, and includes clear parameters in which the government can operate.
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