ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Knesset speaker says he’ll look into process for booting Ghattas

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein says he will speak to parliament legal eagles as he kicks off a process that may see MK Basel Ghattas booted from the august body.

Presented with the signatures of 72 MKs to bring a vote on expelling Ghattas from the Knesset, Edelstein says, “This is the first time this has happened and I hope will be the last.”

Under the newly passed MK impeachment law, 70 signatures are needed to bring the issue to the plenum and 90 must vote in favor in order to kick an lawmaker out.

It seems unlikely that Ghattas will be removed, with 32 MKs confirming they will vote against booting him.

Yuli Edelstein, right, reviewing signatures of 72 MKs supporting a vote on the impeachment of Basel Ghattas, as Zeev Elkin, left, looks on, in the Knesset on January 16, 2017. (Knesset Spokesman's Department)
Yuli Edelstein, right, reviewing signatures of 72 MKs supporting a vote on the impeachment of Basel Ghattas, as Zeev Elkin, left, looks on, in the Knesset on January 16, 2017. (Knesset Spokesman’s Department)

However, a spokesperson for Minister Zeev Elkin, who led the effort to collect the signatures, tells The Times of Israel that he will be able to muster the 90 MKs needed to pass the measure, “with the help of God.”

Should the Knesset legal team okay the process, Edelstein says he will take the issue to committee to begin discussions.

Ghattas is facing likely criminal charges over suspicions he passed phones and other contraband to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prison.

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