Opposition to boycott vote on electricity law over committee fast-tracking

A controversial bill that would allow thousands of illegally built homes in Arab communities to be connected to the power grid will go up for its second and third readings at the Knesset tonight.

The law is desired by the coalition’s Ra’am party. Around 130,000 Arab Israelis live in illegally built homes in cities across the country that cannot be connected to the national grid under existing legislation. Arab Israelis blame outdated urban plans that classify open land as “agricultural” rather than residential, while the Israeli right criticizes what it calls lawlessness in Arab communities.

Ahead of the Knesset deliberations and vote, the opposition announces it will boycott proceedings, in protest of the bill being fast-tracked through a Knesset committee.

The opposition says the move came over the objections of Knesset legal advisers, “to silence the opposition’s criticism… [against a bill] that certifies the theft of state lands through Arab construction of tens of thousands of illegal buildings.”

A lawmaker addresses the Knesset plenum during a session to vote on approving the state budget, November 2, 2021. (Noam Moshkavitz/GPO)

Most Popular