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Edelstein: No Agreement on Chairman for Knesset's Defense C'tee

Speaker Edelstein says Netanyahu, Lapid are not close to agreeing on a chairman for the key committee.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/16/2014, 8:49 PM

Minister Yuli Edelstein
Minister Yuli Edelstein
Flash 90

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud-Beytenu) said Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid are still deadlocked over the identity of the next chairman of the key Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. He stated that he would not ask the Knesset to approve more time for appointing one.

Three months have passed since the committee's former chairman, MK Avigdor Liberman, returned to his previous position as foreign minister after he was acquitted of criminal charges. Since then, no permanent chairman was appointed because Netanyahu and Lapid cannot agree on who he will be.

"Netanyahu and Lapid are still not close to agreement,” Edelstein told the Knesset Channel. According to Walla, the lack of a chairman means that the committee will not convene at least until May.

The meaning of the situation is that there is no parliamentary oversight of Israel's security establishment, for the time being.

"There will be no Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee here,” he said. “Everyone will do as they please. The Defense Minister, the Chief of IDF Staff, the Shin Bet head, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister do as they please without reporting to the Knesset.”

MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Likud-Beytenu) is Netanyahu's favored candidate for the position of committee chairman, but Lapid wants MK Ofer Shelah from his party appointed to the position.