Knesset summer session to begin with a bang

Expanded coalition, progress of major bills to mark opening day Monday.

Tova Dvorin,

The Knesset (illustration)
The Knesset (illustration)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The summer Knesset session opens Monday, amid the expected expansion of the coalition from 61 to 66 MKs. 

Coalition agreements between Likud and Yisrael Beytenu are expected to be finalized Monday, with Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman expected to replace Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) as Defense Minister. The final points of contention surround changes to pension plans for immigrants, Channel 2 reports. 

The Knesset will formally open Monday at noon with speeches from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader, Zionist Union chairman Yitzhak Herzog. 

Herzog's speech will likely set the tone for the left-wing opposition of the next Knesset period, with turmoil within the Zionist Union over Herzog's leadership and a high possibility of the party holding primaries. 

First on the agenda: the biennial budget, which will likely take high priority. Netanyahu wants the budget approved by the end of the summer session, and second and third readings for the budget are scheduled for early August. 

In addition, the coalition will seek to finalize several laws proposed during the winter session. 

Among them: the Suspension Law, which would allow MKs to be dismissed if they refuse to support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; MK Yoav Kisch (Likud)'s V-15 law, which would restrict the activities of non-governmental political organizations during election campaigns; and the NGO Transparency Law, which would see NGOs who receive more than 50% of their budget from foreign state donors be forced to declare their funding sources.




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