Daily Israel Report

Legal Opinion Allows Some Use of Force against MKs

Soldiers may use force against legislators who enter forbidden military zone or try to interfere with activity.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 1/16/2012, 1:06 PM

Soldiers in Gush Etzion
Soldiers in Gush Etzion
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Soldiers and police may use force against a Knesset Member who tries to enter a forbidden military zone or interferes with their activity, an official legal opinion states.

Attorney Ruth Bar, an advisor to the Minister of Defense, presented an opinion on the subject to the Knesset last Wednesday, under the heading – "Procedures for Entry of MKs into Judea and Samaria and Palestinian Authority Territories."

According to daily newspaper Yisrael HaYom, the new guidelines determine that "as a rule, entry of MKs into all areas of Judea and Samaria is to be allowed, including those declared as closed military zones (CMZ) – all under the guidelines spelled out here."

Entry of an MK into a CMZ will only be denied if there is a tangible danger to his life or health, or a tangible danger to the life or health of another person. In additional reasons for refusing entry are concern that it would interfere with operational activity or training activity being carried out there, and a concern over possible disturbance of the public peace in a manner that would require setting aside additional forces to the location.

If the senior commander at the scene decides not to allow an MK to enter, he is to notify the MK of the decision and prevent his entry. The MK will have the right to appeal this decision before the Knesset Officer, who will relay the appeal to the Minister of Defense.

If an MK refuses to leave the CMZ or tries to enter it without permission, he is to be handled "politely" and police are to be called in. If the commander sees the MK's presence as endangering human life or interfering with military activity, and if the MK refuses to desist, the military will have the right to use "reasonable force" as a last resort.

In any case, an MK's body, belongings or vehicle will not be searched and he will not be arrested.