World News – GB – In rare display of unity, Likud and Blue and White say they accept torpedo investigations


In a rare moment of agreement between key Israeli coalition partners, Likud and Blue and White agreed on Tuesday to vote against two inquiry proposals, Hebrew media reported

Parties to vote together against measures at Knesset plenum on Wednesday

Likud will vote against proposed investigation of justice system, and Blue and White will vote against creation of commission on so-called submarine case involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the site reported of Walla information, without citing any sources

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The submarine affair proposal was brought forward by Meretz lawmaker Tamar Zandberg with the support of the Yesh Atid-Telem party

The case has trapped several close associates of Netanyahu, but not the prime minister himself, on suspicion of receiving bribes as part of a massive transplant plan as part of the State purchase of multibillion shekels of warships from the German manufacturer

The state prosecutor’s office told the High Court of Justice on Sunday that it did not believe there was any justification for opening a criminal investigation into Netanyahu over his stock transactions or the case

Zandberg’s proposal was aimed at embarrassing Blue and White, whose leaders last week expressed support for the commission’s creation as part of his feuds with Likud over passing a state budget , the central question of the current crisis of the coalition

The second proposal was put forward by Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich Aimed at Likud, he proposes to form a commission of inquiry into conflicts of interest in the justice system Smotrich submitted two similar proposals earlier this year, which no failed to advance in Knesset vote

Right-wing Yamina party is part of the opposition and continues to gain strength in polls as government response to pandemic is hesitant

Smotrich said he is resubmitting the proposal following the publication of tapes by Channel 12 in which Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit castigates former prosecutor Shai Nitzan

The tapes, released last week, date back to 2015 and 2016, before Mandelblit became attorney general, and years before he charged Netanyahu with corruption

Their release, however, sparked an uproar among Likud lawmakers, who said they reported wrongdoing to the Justice Ministry Netanyahu and his Likud allies have continuously attacked the ministry in an attempt to discredit the charges against Netanyahu

Smotrich said Likud lawmakers had denounced the justice system for years, but failed to take concrete steps to reform

« This week they will have another opportunity to start. We’ll see how they vote, » he said

Under the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition deal, parties are not expected to promote contentious legislation without their joint consent

The two parties formed a unity government after three inconclusive elections earlier this year to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, but the government’s tenure has been marred by constant fighting and dysfunction

Tensions between the parties erupted on Monday as Blue and White leaders said new elections would be held if a state budget for 2020-2021 was not adopted by the end of November

After days of threatening action if the government fails to pass a budget in line with the coalition deal, Blue and White Chairman Benny Gantz sharpened his ultimatum by stating unequivocally: « If he there is no budget, we will go to the elections « 

Israel limped until 2020 without a state budget, even though Blue and White and Likud’s coalition agreement in April called for a two-year 2020-2021 budget to be adopted this summer

Blue and White has reportedly already warned that if the coalition’s dysfunction continued and the state budget for 2021 did not progress in the Knesset by the end of November, it would « act as an opposition » within the government

The Prime Minister is currently on trial for fraud and breach of trust in three other cases and corruption in one of them He denies any wrongdoing and claims to be the victim of an attempted political coup involving the police, prosecutors under Mandelblit’s authority, the left-wing opposition and the media

Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud, Israel, Naftali Bennett, Benny Gantz, Knesset

News from around the world – UK – In rare display of unity, Likud and Blue and White say they accept torpedo investigations


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