Demonstrators protest outside of Knesset against Coronavirus Law

Dozens of protesters block traffic outside of the Knesset to protest plans to strip Coronavirus Committee of oversight on government orders.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Demonstrators protest outside of the Knesset
Demonstrators protest outside of the Knesset
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Dozens of demonstrators rallied outside of the Knesset Wednesday morning to protest against a bill which would make it easier for the government to pass emergency regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Protesters linked arms and sat or laid down across roads leading to and from the Knesset, blocking traffic for a short time Wednesday morning, before police removed the demonstrators.

Some demonstrators tied themselves to nearby fences to make it difficult for police to remove them.

The demonstrators had called on the Knesset not to vote on a bill, expected to pass in its second and third readings Wednesday, which would strip the Knesset’s Coronavirus Committee of the ability to overturn emergency government restrictions on public activity.

Under the bill, dubbed the Coronavirus Law, the government would be able to enact new regulations within 24 hours of their passage by the cabinet, with regulations able to remain in effect for up to 28 days without Knesset approval.

The bill would also strip the Coronavirus Committee of its ability to overturn regulations, instead dividing that power up between four different committees – the Welfare Committee, Education Committee, Economic Committee, and Constitution Committee – each of which would be able to address regulations in its sphere of influence.

The committees would have up to 14 days to challenge new regulations, but could lose that ability if they fail to act with seven days of a regulation’s passage by the government, at which time the Knesset Speaker is empowered to bring the regulation to the full Knesset plenum for a vote.

The government introduced the expanded Coronavirus Law after the Coronavirus Committee repeatedly overturned emergency regulations, citing a lack of evidence on the need for the restrictions pushed by the government.

The new bill comes weeks after the Knesset voted to empower the government to pass regulations which would be temporarily in effect, for up to a week, without approval from the committee.