Decision: Knesset committee to hold public hearings of top officials

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Just like the United States Congress, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has decided that starting in 2007, it will hold seven public hearings throughout the year for top political and defense officials which will be open to the public and the media.

The decision, initiated by committee chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima), calls for seven public hearings from the prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister, IDF chief of staff, head of the Shin Bet, head of the National Security Council, and head of Military Intelligence.

Hanegbi’s initiative is based on the model set by the US Congress where public hearings take place on a regular basis where senior administration officials testify. The officials who participate in the hearings include the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, undersecretaries of both departments, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and head of the CIA.

The proposal calls for seven separate hearings which will be open to the media where the seven different officials will convey a yearly briefing to the committee, the Knesset, and the public. The meetings will keep the current format of the committee discussions: A briefing followed by a question and answer session. The media will be able to cover the entire meeting and it will be broadcast live on the Knesset Channel.

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