The Israeli Knesset finance committee has approved the formation of a special committee of three members to pass secret funds to the Shin Bet and Mossad without revealing the source of or the reasons for the transfer.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said the new committee includes Knesset finance committee chair, MK Nissan Slomiansky, MK Ofer Shelah and MK Yaakov Letzman who served as Chairman during the Knesset’s previous session. The newspaper said that the new committee members will be informed of the budget details during their first meeting.
The newspaper pointed out that the government has followed the same procedure as last year when the 2012 budget surplus was confidentially transferred to the 2013 budget and none of the committee members were informed. The newspaper said MK Stav Shaffir of the Labor Party and a member of the Knesset finance committee had asked to join the committee but it is likely that her request will be refused as the members have already been chosen. Shaffir protested saying she had asked to join the committee to ensure there is no misuse of public money.
Meanwhile the Meretz Party chair, Zahava Gal-On said the decision to form the Committee in this way did not allow the Knesset to monitor sensitive issues and said there was a need to increase the number of Committee members, particularly from opposition parties, to ensure that large funds are not designated for unclear objectives.