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Israel: Likud to hold vote on PM direct election, slate of polarizing legislation

i24NEWS

clock 3 min read

Coalition leader Miki Zohar (Likud) at a regularization committee meeting at the Knesset, Jerusalem, January 13, 2020
Hadas Parush/Flash90Coalition leader Miki Zohar (Likud) at a regularization committee meeting at the Knesset, Jerusalem, January 13, 2020

Other motions include a bill to legalize unauthorized West Bank outposts and legalizing the death penalty

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The Likud party is set to hold votes on a slate of right-wing legislative proposals Tuesday evening, which include bills that would establish direct elections for prime minister, instituting the death penalty for terrorists, and enabling the parliament to bypass the Supreme Court among others. 

The development comes as Likud politicians look to divide right-wing politicians before Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is expected to receive the mandate to form a government after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s expires on Tuesday at midnight.

The votes are expected to be held Tuesday evening during a meeting of the Knesset (Israel Parliament) Arrangements Committee, which will also include a bill to cancel the 2005 “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip and several West Bank settlements, and legislation to bar migrant “infiltrators” from entering the country.  

Other motions include a bill to legalize unauthorized West Bank outposts and cancel Blue and White leader Benny Gantz's rotation with Netanyahu as prime minister, which is anchored in law. 

Much of the legislation, according to Israeli media reports, is designed to split right-wing parties that have not committed to Netanyahu, such as Yamina party chief Naftali Bennett, or opposed to the premier such as New Hope party leader Gideon Sa'ar and Avidor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu faction.

“With the help of God, at 17:30 all Israeli citizens will know where the left wants to lead Bennett and Sa’ar,” Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar tweeted on Tuesday afternoon. 

“The vote in the Arrangements [Committee] on all these laws will clarify the meaning of a left-wing government with a tiny right-wing fig leaf on top," he added. 

Netanyahu, who was the first to receive a mandate to form a ruling coalition following the March 23 election, is fighting for his political and legal survival but appears to lack the support needed to establish the country's next government.  

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