The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, chaired by far-right MK Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionism), convened on Monday and approved the motion to form a subcommittee for examining the Government’s actions to create a legal framework for holding and prosecuting Hamas militias who participated in the October 7 deadly attack against Israel.
The Knesset also decided that the newly-established subcommittee would meet behind closed doors, according to the report. Lawmakers of the Hadash-Ta’al and Islamist Ra’am parliamentary factions were reportedly precluded from participating so as “to not damage the process.” According MK Rothman, “Some of the deliberations will be classified, due to their sensitivity, so a limited forum is needed. In determining the [subcommittee’s] composition, we followed a criterion of faction size, and chose the eight largest factions.”
MK Ofer Cassif outside the Knesset during a protest against the far-right government, Dec. 4, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)
MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash-Ta’al) said: “There’s no dispute about the urgent need to deal properly with the criminals and everything associated with that. But I have a bad feeling about the number of committee members and the way it was set. This is designed to exclude us, so I can’t vote in favor. I propose that either the debate be held in the full committee forum and not as a subcommittee, or that a member be added to the subcommittee.”
The composition of the subcommittee is as follows: Chair—MK Rothman; subcommittee members—MKs Moshe Saada (Likud), Matan Kahana (National Unity Party), Avraham Bezalel (Shas), Ariel Kallner (Likud) (instead of MK Yaakov Asher of United Torah Judaism, whose faction turned over its slot to MK Kallner), Malinovsky, and Yitzhak Kroizer (Otzma Yehudit).
In the vote, Committee Chair MK Rothman and MKs Yoav Segalovitz (Yesh Atid), Malinovsky and Bezalel supported the motion to form the subcommittee, whereas MK Cassif opposed it.