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AG: Security cabinet can’t hold votes until permanent justice minister appointed

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Amid an ongoing rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued a legal opinion Wednesday night saying the high-level security cabinet and coronavirus cabinet cannot hold votes until a full-time justice minister has been appointed.

Israel has been without a justice minister since early this month after Gantz’s maximal 3-month term as acting justice minister expired. Netanyahu can’t take the role since he is a criminal defendant, and has blocked attempts to approve another candidate.

Gantz has been demanding that he be tapped as full-time minister, with Netanyahu refusing, in yet another political spat to affect the country under the current power-sharing government.

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According to Mandelblit, the lack of a permanent justice minister violates the laws passed by the government to ensure equal representation of Netanyahu and Gantz’s respective blocs within the so-called national unity government.

“As long as the members of the security cabinet do not comply with the provision of equality between the number of ministers who are members of each of the blocs, it will not be able to exercise its powers by means of valid decisions,” Mandelblit wrote to cabinet secretary Tzachi Braverman.

He did, however, state that the security cabinet, which decides on launching military operations, may........

© The Times of Israel

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