Knesset will have to agree first
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Netanyahu: Wasn't included
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Bill: Knesset to OK all treaties

Law aims to prevent prime minister from going through with territorial concessions without Knesset's knowledge

A new bill submitted this week is calling for any treaty to be approved by the Knesset before it can be ratified by the government.


Currently, the government may reach an agreement with another entity after completing negotiations, and only then submit it for the Knesset's approval. As per the new bill, which was not coordinated with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, any accord that includes territorial concessions will have to be reviewed by the Knesset before it can be finalized and goes into effect.


Led by Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin, 12 Knesset members from Likud, Shas, National Union and Kadima signed the bill proposal.


The MKs aim to prevent a possibility that a prime minister would propose a treaty without their knowledge.


"The nature of state and territorial agreements is that they are critical, and their influence on the existence and the functioning of society is considerable," the proposal read. "This is why a custom developed in Israel over the years that calls for any agreement to be brought to a vote in the Knesset, which represents the different facets of Israeli society."


According to the proposal document, regardless of this custom, Israel is held accountable for treaties even if they have not been reviewed by the Knesset. The MKs claim that this fact essentially renders the parliamentary body irrelevant.


'Law guarantees Israel's interests'  

Elkin told Ynet that he did not include Netanyahu in the preparation of the bill because he believes it does not limit his range of action.


"I hope the prime minister will approve the bill, and that it is passed by the ministerial committee," he said. "The custom must be entrenched in law...for cases similar to the one from two years ago, when Olmert and Livni promoted a measure that included significant territorial concessions.


"This law, if passed, will guarantee that no future government will move towards concessions in Judea and Samaria without the Knesset's approval."


Chairman of the Knesset's House Committee Yariv Levin (Likud), who signed the proposal, added that treaties that involve security risks must be secured in a transparent manner.


"I am certain that decisions that are reached by a wider forum in a democratic manner, as this bill requires, will guarantee Israel's vital interests," he said.



פרסום ראשון: 02.16.11, 19:22
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