Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah is accused by a rising chorus of exploiting the coronavirus crisis for political gain. The opposition had wanted to debate Netanyahu’s moves, but now the Knesset has been shuttered in accordance with regulations limiting all gatherings to 10 people.
The Israel Democracy Institute has called for the Knesset to be reopened immediately,warning that Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s move “constitutes an unacceptable disregard for basic rules of democracy.” President Reuven Rivlin also harshly criticized the temporary closure.
Many suspect that Edelstein closed the Knesset in consultation with his party leader,Netanyahu, fearing that the opposition would pass legislation barring the latter from continuing as prime minister while under indictment on charges of corruption. Edelstein also blocked a planned Knesset vote by the opposition to elect a new Knesset Speaker.
Israel Justice Minister Amir Ochana had previously declared a state of emergency due to the corona crisis and largely closed the country’s courts, but only after Netanyahu’s trial was postponed for two months.
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