A Knesset vote regarding a bill that would force the government to carry out a national referendum before withdrawing from Israeli land was canceled on Monday. The cancellation followed a Likud minister's last-minute appeal.
MKs were to vote on the application of the “law of continuity” to the bill. If the law of continuity were to be applied to the “referendum law,” which received initial approval under the previous Knesset, it could then be brought to a second and third vote immediately, without the need to resume the legislative process from the beginning.
The Referendum Law would require national approval for any withdrawal from sovereign Israeli territory, including the Golan. It would not require a referendum in case of withdrawal from territories over which Israel has not declared sovereignty, such as Yehudah and Shomron (Judea and Samaria).
MK Yariv Levin (Likud) heads the committee which prepared the referendum law. “The government informed me that the vote cannot be held today, because a minister appealed against the government's plan to support the proposal,” he explained Monday evening.
The minister who opposed the bill was revealed to be deputy prime minister Dan Meridor of Likud.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud, said Meridor's appeal would be dealt with promptly and the cancelled vote would be held within the month.
Members of the opposition criticized Netanyahu over the incident. “That's how it is with Bibi – everything takes more time,” said Kadima MK Yoel Hasson. “Golan residents should think again about whether or not they can rely on him.”