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Israeli parliament gives PM authority to declare war

A general overview of a meeting held in Knesset, Israel [File photo]
A general overview of a meeting held in Knesset, Israel [File photo]

Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, voted Monday in favour of a bill that would allow the country’s prime minister to declare war in ‘extreme situations’, the Haaretz daily reported.

The prime minister will only need the defense minister’s approval, it said.

The report did not say how many lawmakers voted in favor of the bill.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the request earlier in the day. The joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee rejected his request, but it was later voted for by the Knesset plenum, the report said.

READ: Israel free to strike Syria, says Lieberman

Before the Knesset vote, Netanyahu claimed that Israel’s intelligence service had obtained secret information from an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

In a statement, Netanyahu claimed Israeli intelligence services had obtained 55,000 pages of Iranian documents revealing how Tehran allegedly lied to the world after signing a landmark deal in 2015 to curb its nuclear program.

“Iran lied about never having a nuclear weapons program; 100,000 secret files proved that they lied,” he said.

His remarks followed a weekend meeting between Netanyahu and newly sworn-in US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

President Donald Trump is expected to announce his decision May 12 on whether the US will pull out of the deal.

Israel traditionally considers Iran one of the biggest threats to its security.

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