Members of the Joint Arab List

This morning (Wednesday 18 December), the Knesset Arrangements Committee assigned hearings on enforcement of the ‘Kaminןtz Law’ to the Finance Committee. MKs from the United Arab List immediately launched a flurry of tweets framing the decision as a step toward the successful repeal of the law.

MK Osama Saadi of the United Arab List claimed that in last Wednesday’s hearing on the dissolution of the Knesset, understandings were reached with all Knesset factions on a five-year suspension of the Kaminetz Law. “Regavim’s people, who are here again this morning, were called to the Knesset at 2 am last week, and they managed to persuade some MKs to change their position.”

MK Dr. Shlomo Karai (Likud) countered Saadi’s claims: “You tried to stage a coup, and we blocked it.”

As Regavim’s spokesperson notes, only the Minister of Justice has the authority to make substantive amendments to the law. Today’s decision was purely technical; if the Minister of Justice sees fit to initiate a review of the law or any of its elements, this review will be conducted in the Knesset Finance Committee, rather than in its more natural forum, the Interior Committee, which has not been convened because no government has been successfully formed.

Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim, commented after today’s hearing: “The Kaminetz Law, one of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the outgoing Likud-led government’s major accomplishments, has been a major force in protecting the land of the Galilee and the Negev, helping slash illegal construction starts in these areas by dozens of percentage points in the short time since its ratification. The decision to reconsider the law’s provisions is the exclusive purview of the Minister of Justice, and we are certain that he will not allow the Likud’s important achievement to be undone, nor will he capitulate to the United Arab List’s manipulations.”

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