Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein
Knesset Speaker Yuli EdelsteinYehonatan Veltzer/TPS

The Knesset will begin deliberations on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s request for parliamentary immunity next week, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) announced Sunday evening.

The Knesset plenum will convene next Tuesday to begin hearings on the request, Edelstein said, after 25 Knesset Members called on him to bring the immunity request to the Knesset for consideration.

“As I said a week ago,” Edelstein announced Sunday, “the hearing process for the prime minister’s immunity request has been contaminated. The [opposition] parties will turn the Knesset’s House Committee hearings into a political show for the elections, something which cannot be allowed to happen, and they will turn the legislature into a jungle. There was a bitter taste of this at the hearing held by the Arrangements Committee just a few days ago.”

“At a press briefing last week I declared that ‘I will not delay nor will I hasten the hearing. I will make all the relevant decisions based on the values that I have followed my entire life, and in adherence to the law, the Knesset’s regulations, and legal precedent.’ That is exactly how I have acted now. Even though I disagree with the opinion of the Knesset’s legal advisor, I believe that it is important to maintain all of the parties’ faith in the institution of the Knesset Speakership.”

Edelstein said the hearings would be pushed off until next week because of the arrival of foreign leaders in Israel this week for the Fifth World Holocaust Forum, set to be held in Jerusalem.

“This is a very important week for Israel politically, during which dozens of leaders from around the world will visit Israel and the Knesset, and I will not allow [political] scuffles in the Knesset, which would be unacceptable at any time, and which would constitute a disgrace for the legislature.”