Plans for a metro across central Israel have been put on hold
Plans for a metro across central Israel have been put on hold
Photo: NTA
Lawmakers in the Knesset as a bill to prevent parliament dissolving failed to pass

Elections leave Israel's key initiatives in deep freeze

Among the plans stuck or shelved due to the Knesset's dissolution are legalization of marijuana, reducing MKs' salaries, fixing the Haredi draft and massive housing and transportation projects to improve the lives of Israelis

Calcalist |
Published: 12.25.20, 19:21
Even before the political deadlock and the coronavirus crisis, many projects, reforms, initiatives and promises - some made years ago by previous governments - have gone unfulfilled and even ignored.
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  • While the government formed in May worked on several initiatives, the Knesset's dissolution means that any projects that were in the works or otherwise seen some advancement are now halted indefinitely.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    מליאת הכנסת
    מליאת הכנסת
    Lawmakers in the Knesset as a bill to prevent parliament dissolving failed to pass
    (Photo: The Knesset)
    Among the initiatives that are not expected to come to pass any time soon is the bill submitted by Finance Minister Israel Katz to reduce the salaries of the president, prime minister, ministers, Knesset members and judges.
    And while the government had already approved the bill that would save the state NIS 70 million by the end of 2021, an appeal filed by departing Likud minister Ze’ev Elkin means the legislation has been frozen.
    Another casualty is the attempts to correct the law that exempts ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students from being enlisted in the IDF.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    הפגנה נגד חוק הגיוס בירושלים
    הפגנה נגד חוק הגיוס בירושלים
    Haredi men demonstrating against the enlistment of yeshiva students in the IDF
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Under a decision by the High Court, the law was to be annulled on February 1, 2021 if the state failed to pass a new law by that time. The dissolution of the Knesset means the deadline is no longer viable and therefore the law will remain as is for the foreseeable future.
    Yet another initiative that will not see the light of day anytime soon is the initiative to raise the retirement age for women. Discussions on the issue have been taking place in the Knesset in recent years, but have not yet turned into legislation.
    The dissolution of the Knesset also means that a cannabis legalization bill promoted by Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn will not have its first reading in the Knesset and is thus tabled for the time being.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    A cannabis farm in Israel
    A cannabis farm in Israel
    A cannabis farm in Israel
    (Photo: Seach Medical Group)
    The reform to expand the authority of school principals and the budgets available to them, proposed by Education Minister Yoav Galant, has also been shelved.
    The National Committee for Planning and Building Preferred Housing Compounds, which seeks to expedite the construction of affordable homes, is currently having difficulty working on future plans because it has been operating under a temporary order that expired in June. Now the renewal of the order has been delayed indefinitely.
    The Reduced-Price Housing program, which was initiated by Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman, is also currently frozen due to lack of budget.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    Plans for a metro across central Israel have been put on hold
    Plans for a metro across central Israel have been put on hold
    Plans for a metro across central Israel have been put on hold
    (Photo: NTA)
    The metro - the largest transportation project in the country's history to connect more than 20 local authorities in central Israel at a cost of about NIS 150 billion - has been shelved by Transportation Minister Miri Regev until further notice.
    Additionally, Regev's promise to help IDF soldiers stationed in the Negev by building a high-speed train line to the Lakiya area is also stuck until further notice.
    The promise of Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel to establish a committee to evacuate Tel Aviv’s central bus station due to pollution and noise nuisances is currently also frozen.
    5 צפייה בגלריה
    התחנה המרכזית בתל אביב
    התחנה המרכזית בתל אביב
    Tel Aviv central bus station
    (Photo: Tommy Harpaz)
    The plan to build a new airport in Nevatim in the south or Ramat David in the north is also stuck and awaits the next government.
    The committee working to evacuate factories from Haifa Port - to avoid a potential disaster similar to the Beirut blast - cannot complete its work in the absence of legislation and budget.
    Changes in the cooking gas market, which could save up to NIS 4,000 per household a year, are also currently frozen as are telecom reforms that would eliminate the need for internet users to pay both an infrastructure provider and a service provider.
    A reform of the Israel Post, which sought to reinvigorate the notoriously unreliable organization and provide better service to consumers, is also stuck along with a second reform for television .
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