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Israel: Netanyahu backs bill to declare war without government approval

Image of Benjamin Netanyahu on 5 September 2012 [Utenriksdepartementet UD/Flickr]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 5 September, 2012 [Utenriksdepartementet UD/Flickr]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting a bill that would allow him to declare war with the approval of the Security Cabinet only, without getting Knesset support, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israel’s 2001 Basic Law requires a majority of MKs to approve any major military action, once the proposal has been put forward to the whole cabinet.

The draft amendment seeks to reduce the approval needed to the ten members of the Security Cabinet only, without any notice given to the wider government. In some cases, all ten members would not even need to be present in order for the military decisions to be made.

Read: Members of Netanyahu’s party call for him to resign

The Justice Ministry has defended the move as necessary in order to prevent information leaks, but it has been met with criticism in Israel.

Zionist Union MK Eyal Ben-Reuven suggested that the bill was an attempt to detract from the corruption scandals Netanyahu is currently embroiled in.

“War is a very dramatic event in the life of a nation,” he said, “Therefore; I will do all I can to try to prevent another law that can be severely harmful to Israel’s future. I think this is another distraction from Netanyahu’s shaky legal situation.”

The bill will be debated in October when the Knesset reconvenes.

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