By Wednesday, PM Netanyahu is expected to submit an application to the Knesset • What is the deadline for submitting it? When will the Knesset committee begin discussing it? All there is to know about the crisis
Knesset plenary // Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether he wants immunity from the Knesset. The unique political situation in which the state is located raises quite a few questions about the immunity application process.
What is the deadline for Netanyahu's request for immunity from the Knesset?
Netanyahu must submit the request to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein by midnight at midnight, a time when the 30-day quorum stipulated in the law ends.
When will the Knesset Committee begin to discuss Netanyahu's request?
The law stipulates that the Speaker of the Knesset must submit Netanyahu's request to the Knesset Committee as soon as possible, however, because the Knesset has dispersed.
Why can't the regular Knesset committee start discussing Netanyahu's request immediately instead of the Knesset committee?
Knesset Attorney General Ilan Yanon stated in the opinion that the Knesset Law does not grant the Knesset Committee (which manages Knesset matters during this period) the powers of the Knesset Committee, but is authorized to deal only with the Knesset's rules and hearings. Quite judicial, so only the Knesset committee is authorized to discuss it.
In the absence of a Knesset committee, why can't the issue be transferred directly to the Knesset plenum?
The Movement for the Purpose of Measures made this proposal, but the Knesset rejected it because, in its opinion, the Knesset Committee's discussion phase cannot be skipped because it is inconsistent with the language and purpose of the law.
In other words, will all the legal proceedings be postponed until the Knesset committee hearings are set to be completed in only three months?
Yes. The Knesset admits that the law does not address the situation in which the request for immunity is filed when the Knesset committee is not yet formed. In his opinion, the Knesset should not be required to set up a Knesset committee to discuss the request for immunity without deviating from the normal course of the Knesset after an election. After the next elections, a Knesset committee will be set up to discuss Netanyahu's request for immunity.
How will the composition of the Knesset committee be determined after the elections?
In accordance with the distribution of mandates. The larger the number of seats in the current coalition, the more likely Netanyahu will get immunity
Assuming that the Knesset Committee decides to grant Netanyahu immunity, does the issue also require the approval of the Knesset plenum?
No. If the Knesset committee has a majority in favor of granting immunity to Netanyahu, the decision will be final.
Assuming that Netanyahu is granted immunity, when can he be prosecuted?
It will not be possible to indict Netanyahu during the term of that Knesset. But the Supreme Court could make such a request in the 24th Knesset or after Netanyahu ceases to be a Knesset member and enjoy immunity.