On video: Government meeting (Roni Knafo)
In the coming days, the coalition is expected to advance the "Gifts Law" in preparation for its first reading, when next Thursday a discussion and vote will be held in the committee, and next Sunday, just before the Knesset recess, the Knesset plenum will approve it in its first reading.
The "Gift Law" or the Donations Law, will allow members of the Knesset, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to receive donations to finance legal or medical procedures.
Almost two weeks ago, the Knesset committee began discussions on the public service bill (amendment - contribution to finance legal proceedings or medical treatment and reporting obligation) by Knesset member Amit Halevi from the Likud.
During the hearing, the legal advisor to the Knesset committee, attorney Arbel Astrakhan, and the deputy ombudsman expressed their opposition to the law on the grounds that it constitutes "an opening for governmental corruption".
On Sunday, the legal adviser of the Knesset, attorney Sagit Afek, also commented on the bill and criticized its current version, which, according to her, "constitutes a deviation from maintaining the purity of morals." Attorney Oren Puno, Deputy Legal Adviser to the Government Gali Beharev Miara He added: "The law opens the door to corruption in the entire public service. The speed with which the bill is being promoted raises concerns that it is intended to benefit the Prime Minister personally."
"The law opens the door to corruption in the entire public service."
The ombudsman Beharev-Miara (photo: photo processing, Shlomi Gabai)
The proposal is intended to allow public servants to receive as a gift funds to finance legal proceedings or necessary medical treatments through fundraising from private parties, even when the funds are given to them for their position.
The proposal is being promoted against the backdrop of the Supreme Court's decision to order Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return the sum of 270 thousand dollars to his late cousin Natan Milkovski after the latter gave it to him in order to finance the legal defense within the ongoing cases against him.
MK Halevi's bill establishes an arrangement regarding the manner of fundraising, through a dedicated association that will be established, as well as restrictions regarding the amount of the donation, the identity of the donors, publication of the donation and reporting to the State Comptroller, as well as a limited restriction regarding the making of decisions concerning donors by the public servant.
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