Key panel approves Likud proposal to resume Knesset work

The Knesset’s Arrangements Committee approves a proposal to appoint a number of deputy Knesset speakers and set up several temporary parliamentary committees, allowing the parliament to resume work.

The proposal from Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party is approved with the backing of the Islamist Ra’am party and right-wing Yamina faction, neither of which are a part of the premier’s right-wing religious bloc but whose seats he needs to form a government.

Despite opposing a government propped up by Ra’am, Netanyahu’s partners in the far-right Religious Zionism party vote with the Islamist party to approve the proposal.

The three deputy Knesset speakers will be Shas MK Ya’akov Margi, Yamina MK Matan Kahane and Ra’am MK Mansour Abbas. The Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee will be led by Yesh Atid MK Orna Barbivai, while United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni will continue to head the Finance Committee. Barbivai will be the first woman to head the powerful committee.

The Arrangements Committee also approves the formation of a new Arab affairs committee, whose proposal by Likud earlier today helped secure Ra’am’s backing for the proposal. The committee’s formation must still be approved by the Knesset plenum.

Today’s vote comes a week after Likud MK Miki Zohar, who heads the Arrangements Committee, simply adjourned the panel rather than allow for a vote on the anti-Netanyahu bloc’s proposal for the establishment of parliamentary committees and deputies to the Knesset speaker, sparking outcry from left-wing lawmakers.

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