Gov't Given 12 Hours to Respond to Appeal

Supreme Court orders government and Attorney General to respond to appeal against expansion of cabinet by 8:00 Monday.

Shlomo Pitrikovsky and Elad Benari,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

The Supreme Court has given the Israeli government and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein only 12 hours to respond to Yesh Atid’s appeal against the expansion of the cabinet.

Justice Daphne Barak-Erez on Sunday evening instructed the government and Weinstein to present their response to the appeal by Monday morning at 8:00.

The motion, filed earlier by MK Ofer Shelah and Yesh Atid’s attorneys, claims that the current transition government is not empowered to change or update basic laws, even if it can muster the 61 votes needed to temporarily suspend the limit on 18 ministers, as the law prescribes.

In addition, the motion contends that the coalition agreement provides for an unlawful distribution of funds by parties and specific MKs, distributions that the Attorney General has declared illegal. According to reports, numerous MKs in Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Jewish Home have been given specific sums, as much as NIS 20 million, to spend on projects.

Yesh Atid has several times threatened legal action against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s move to expand the number of ministers in the cabinet, a move likely taken in order to have more ministerial portfolios for members of his Likud party.

The outgoing cabinet unanimously approved the proposal to expand the ministerial cabinet earlier Sunday, paving the way for it to be brought to the Knesset for approval on Monday.