Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Knesset gives power to PM to declare war with single vote backing

The Israeli parliament has voted in favour of granting Israel's prime minister the power to declare war, solely with the approval of the defence minister.

The vote on Monday amended a law which previously required the whole cabinet to vote on such a move, transferring that authority to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, his defence chief.

The Knesset approved the amendment 62 to 41, allowing Netanyahu and Lieberman to declare war in "extreme situations".

The change was introduced by Netanyahu shortly before his theatrical presentation in which he claimed to present proof of Iran having secretly pursued a nuclear programme.

According to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee initially voted against the proposal, but it was later approved by the Knesset during a second and third reading.

  • Although Netanyahu would currently require approval by Lieberman, it is not uncommon for Israeli prime ministers to be appointed as minister of defence during their time in office.

David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Shimon Peres all served as ministers of defence during their stint as prime minister.

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