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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Committee’

Government to Reveal Lost Yemenite Children 2001 Committee Findings

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

The Netanyahu cabinet on Sunday is expected to approve the revelation of the findings of a 2001 state committee investigation of the disappearance of the children of Yemenite immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1948 and 1954. The proposal to expose the findings was initiated by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), and MK Nurit Koren (Likud), who petitioned Prime Minister Netanyahu to appoint a minister-level official to examine the issue.

In May, Netanyahu appointed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud), whose mother, former MK Geula Cohen (Likud and Tehiya), is herself Yemenite. Now, as Hanegbi has concluded his examination, with the help of the state archivist and the Government Freedom of Information Unit of the Justice Ministry, the publication of the committee’s report will be voted on by the cabinet, and followed by a vote of the Knesset Constitution Committee.

According to the proposal, the classified protocols of the 2001 Cohen-Kedmi Committee, which began its investigations in 1995. This followed bloody clashes in Passover of 1994, between the followers of Yemenite Rabbi Uzi Meshulam and police. The Meshulam followers were barricaded in the rabbi’s Yahud home  for 52 days, until police raided the place, aided by snipers and helicopters. One man was killed in the clashes.

The government-appointed committee heard more than 850 testimonies in those seven years, 27 of which remain classified. The committee’s findings were issued in 2001 in a 1,828-page report. Regarding 979 missing babies, the committee concluded that they had concrete evidence that they had died, just as hospital staffs were telling their newcomer parents. But the committee said it had not been able to find evidence on 69 missing babies, and raised the possibility that they had been given to adopting parents by social workers, without consent or even knowledge of their biological parents.

At the time, the government placed a gag order on the content of the committee’s protocols until the year 2071, with the rationale of wishing to avoid additional pain to the parties involved. The proposal the cabinet is expected to approve on Sunday conditions the revelation of specific cases of illegal adoptions on the consent of the adopted person in question. Considering the fact that they are now in their sixties and even seventies, every such revelation will likely touch the lives of dozens of individuals.

Justice Minster Shaked said in a statement that “there is a major public interest in revealing this affair, and to exposing as many of the details as possible. The era of hiding information is over in this country.”

JNi.Media

Liberman to Knesset Defense Committee: Hamas Preparing for Next Round

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“Hamas in Gaza has 26,000 soldiers and another 40,000 clerks who receive their salary from the Hamas. It is currently building up an attack force to try to move the fighting into Israeli territory in the next round, but it is also working to restrain various entities within the [Gaza] Strip, mainly due to the change in the Israeli response policy after every incident, which has become dramatically harsher,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chaired by MK Avi Dichter.

The defense minister said Israel will invest close to $1 billion over the next few years on defending the Gaza-vicinity communities.

Liberman noted the financial distress of Hamas, due to the reduced flow of funds from abroad and the economic and civic distress in across the Gaza strip. He said that today only 1% of the civic budget in Gaza comes from Hamas, while another 4% comes from the PA. 95% of the Gaza budget is donated by the international community.

There is tension, Liberman said, between the desire to allow Gaza citizens better living conditions, and the awareness that Hamas uses it to gain strength, as was the case when the Knesset approved the entry of construction materials into Gaza.

The defense minister also said that Hamas is not interested in solving the crisis in Gaza, looking instead to force the international community to get involved. So, for instance, it avoids connecting the Israeli power supply of a decontamination facility that was funded with $100 million from the World Bank.

Liberman noted that more than 90% of the water in Gaza is not suitable for drinking, and water desalination by international organizations will take at least two years to deliver. The crisis will arrive before then, he warned, and Israel will consolidate the plans to deal with it in the next few months.

Liberman also said that people within the Palestinian Authority are preoccupied with the day after Abu Mazen (nom de guerre of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas). Liberman noted that Abu Mazen himself is occupied mainly with leaving behind a diplomatic legacy, including a number of diplomatic initiatives planned for 2017, and is not working to improve the economic situation in the PA.

“Improving the economic conditions of the Palestinians is a security interest of Israel, and when it is clear that it would not be possible to reach agreements on diplomatic issues such as Jerusalem, it is still possible to work to improve living and economic conditions,” Liberman said, noting that the PA has instructed its representatives to not speak of these things, but to address diplomatic issues only.

JNi.Media

Knesset Committee to Debate Proposed Law Expanding Defense Minister’s Powers

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A proposed new law would magnify the authority of the Israeli defense minister (within pre-1967 Israel only, as the Civil Administration deals with Judea and Samaria), enabling him or her to restrict the freedom of a citizen without trial, under considerations of “national security of the public safety.”

The bill is to be debated next week by the Knesset Constitution Committee, whose legal advisers had already called it “problematic.”

Bayit Yehudi MK and Committee Chairperson Nissan Slomiansky told Ha’aretz the committee will have to consider how to balance the protection of national security and the public, against the “severe injury to human rights.”

The legislation if passed would allow the minister to restrict the professions in which a citizen could work, stop a citizen from leaving the country and/or stop that person from making contact with certain individuals, reports the Ha’aretz newspaper. It would also enable the defense minister to detail Israeli citizens without trial, among other privileges.

But all of the above restrictions already exist as privileges of the Public Security Minister in pre-1967 Israel, and the right of the Defense Minister in areas of Judea, Samaria and some parts of Jerusalem as well.

For instance, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet domestic intelligence service) can recommend to either minister that any individual be held under “administrative detention,” given enough reason to do so. Those reasons are not always made public, but one can be held under the law relating to administrative detention without being charged or brought to trial, for months. The validation must be renewed every three months, but the minister may detain anyone he likes as long as he can justify it to the High Court.

This law would limit that administrative detention – in pre-1967 Israel, at least, to six months.

As for restricting the professions in which one is able to work, security clearance, one’s military record and one’s criminal record and/or academic record – all of which can be traced via one’s Israeli identity card – already is used for such purposes, whether that information is always shared with the applicant or not.

As regards leaving the country, the average Israeli traveling abroad – as other travelers – goes through at least five security checks before ever reaching the airline check-in counter. By that time, Israeli security personnel have either decided one is a risk to national security, or they’re not.

If so, you’ll never make it to the plane.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Paralympic Delegation Comes Back to Cheers, but Committee Says That Gaps Remain

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – Approximately 200 Israelis from all over the country, most of them youngsters and students, welcomed the Israeli team home from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio with signs and balloons at Ben-Gurion Airport.

“I felt we needed to show our appreciation and our respect to the members of the Paralympic delegation. They accomplished incredible things and succeeded in connecting the Israeli community together.” said Ouri Shechter, who organized the welcoming reception at Ben-Gurion, to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Thirty-three athletes in 11 sports participated in the games, winning three bronze medals, bringing the total number of medals won by Israel in the Paralympic Games to 383 since the country’s first delegation in 1960.

Rower Moran Samuel won bronze for the 100 meter women’s single sculls event on September 11. The next day, Doron Shaziri repeated the feat in the men’s 50 meter Rifle 3 Positions SH1, adding to continuing his record winning at least one medal minimum in each Paralympic game. Finally, on September 15, swimmer Inbal Pezaro finished third in the 200 meter individual medley.

In response to statements made on the inequitable coverage of the Paralympic games as opposed to the Rio Olympics, Leah Schneider, Spokesperson for the Israel Paralympic Committee, told TPS:

“Coverage was better this year than in the past, but it remains insufficient and definitely not on par with the broadcasting generated by the Olympics,” she said.

Schneider added that there has been a perceptible shift in Israeli society and media regarding Paralympic team members. “Whereas once people viewed us as disabled people with sport capabilities, today we are primarily seen as athletes,” she said.

Committee members also said that Israel lags behind other countries in terms of support and investment for sports, especially for disabled people.

“Israel is not a sports country.” said Schneider. “In other states, such as China or the United States, sport is considered a profession in itself. Here in Israel, members of the Paralympic delegation all have regular jobs. Their achievements are a credit to their capabilities, less than any institutional investment made by the government.

“We need mechanisms in order to identify disabled kids with potential for sports, to train them properly with specific courses and resources for adaptive sports. It takes regular people constant training over the course of six-to-eight years to acquire a professional level.

“[But mainly we need] awareness. We need plans and budgets on an institutional level. But for the moment, constructing a Paralympic team remains extremely difficult,” she concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.

JNi.Media

Knesset Committee discussed Yitzhar Minor’s Case

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

On the morning of Tuesday, August 2, the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child discussed the case of the Yitzhar minor banned by an administrative order from all of Yehuda and Shomron, including his own home.

No representatives from either the Justice Ministry or the Shabak showed up for the meeting.

Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich, who with Knesset Member Rabbi Yehuda Glick initiated the discussion, said,

“The intolerable ease with which [the GOC”s] decide to use administrative orders, force, and violence against youths and children from Yehuda and Shomron under the code name of “security” is improper and illogical. The distancing order served to this specific youth and the increasingly shameful treatment of the general population of Yehuda and Shomron must stop. There are serious consequences to the irresponsible conduct of the ISA and security authorities, firstly in terms of the trust that the public has in the security authorities, and that itself is very serious. Additionally, even we as Knesset Members have limits. The failure of the representatives of the Justice Ministry and the ISA to appear, is nothing other than disrespect for us the Knesset Members and for the Knesset, and we must not let this pass quietly.

“I announce to anyone who has not yet heard, the settlements are not an enemy of the people and if there is a child who has “gone astray” he should be treated and returned to the proper path. A Youth Probation Service officer and social workers must be assigned to him during administrative proceedings exactly as is customary in criminal proceedings against minors. He must not be treated like the worst terrorist. I call on the Defense Minister and the Justice Minister to introduce a different approach than that which has been prevalent over the past few years, and to restore sanity. The residents of Yehuda and Shomron must not be perceived as the enemy.” Knesset Member R. Yehuda Glick: “A 15-year old boy is not a ticking time bomb. An administrative order is a type of emergency order which is given in the case of a ticking time bomb. There’s a chance that he will scribble a word on a mosque or puncture something? Then a Youth Probation Service officer can be assigned to monitor him. This is a boy without a criminal record and they are using a method against him which is unnecessary.

“For the past eight years I have experienced the Israeli Police fighting me, besmirching me and presenting me as the most dangerous man in the Mid-East, and in the end claimed that I want to change the status quo [on the Temple Mount]. It appears that the security forces are taking upon themselves the task of educating the public. It cannot be that an administrative order is served to a 15-year old boy without even [consulting] the Youth Probation Service or a social worker. It is inconceivable that this has to be said in this committee.”

Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who participated in the discussion, stated that, “Over the past year and a half there has been massive use of administrative orders, and the [security] system is caught unprepared for the use of such orders. They [the orders] are being implemented without any consideration by the welfare authorities or their involvement, without any judicial oversight, and they have caused enormous damage, and situations which would never have occurred in criminal proceedings. “Additionally, only following the appeal which we filed and criticism from the courts, have preliminary hearings begun recently to be held, although they are required by law.”

The representative of the National Council for the Child, Attorney Carmit Pollack Cohen, called for increased involvement of the welfare authorities in the procedure of serving administrative order when minors are involved. In June 2016 the Israel National Council for the Child sent urgent letters to the GOC’s of the Home Front and Central Commands requesting that they investigate the possible consequences of the administrative orders served to the Yitzhar minor.

The mother of another minor under an administrative order described how every night policemen arrive at the family’s home in the middle of the night, bang loudly on the door, and wake up the entire family, which has caused some of the families whose children are under administrative orders to request that the child stay out of the house so that the family will not suffer from the house checks by the police. See here for the Yitzhar minor’s experience.

Knesset Member Moti Yogev, who is a member of the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child: “I still have faith in the security system, but I think that there must be supervision over the authorities. I think that statements need to be made here, that in order to come to a decision concerning distancing a minor from his home and place of education, there needs to be a near certain danger and that a professional welfare authority must be involved.” MK Yogev further described several cases in which he intervened and returned youths to their place of study, which shows that a balanced method had not been properly implemented.

Chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child, MK Yifat Shasha Biton concluded the discussion with a statement that the treatment of minors in administrative proceedings must be similar to that of minors in criminal proceedings, in which there is increased judicial review and involvement of the welfare authorities.

Jewish Press News Briefs

MK Hazan Darling of Israeli Left over Dismissal by Netanyahu in Gaza Inquiry Brawl

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

MK Oren Hazan (Likud), traditionally the legislator most loathed by the Israeli left, both inside and outside the Knesset, now gets his turn to be the darling of the left, because of the courageous way he stood up to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Naturally, when Hazan was just as brave in the past, calling out Netanyahu on his shabby treatment of Israel’s rightwing majority, especially in Judea and Samaria, he did not receive recognition by the Labor MKs who this week have been stepping on each other to defend him, or, more accurately, attack Netanyahu on his behalf.

Hazan himself told Israel Radio Wednesday morning that he is paying a high price for his daring to criticize the prime minister, like several other Likud members (former MK Moshe Feiglin comes to mind). Hazan supports establishing a state committee of inquiry to investigate the 2014 Gaza war, specifically how aware had the IDF command been of the 30 to 40 Hamas terror tunnels? Netanyahu has released documentation showing the IDF conducted eight sessions, followed by 20 technical sessions, instructing the security cabinet on those tunnels. But Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett insists no such heightened attention was ever paid to the tunnels, and, in fact, it had taken his, Bennett’s, tenacious nagging to steer the cabinet and the high command towards hitting those vexing tunnels.

The Likud has launched a move to remove MK Hazan from the State Control Committee, where the vote on a state commission of inquiry will take place — because Hazan suggested he was in favor of appointing such a body. For his part, Hazan acknowledges that Netanyahu has just had enough of his “colorful” personal style, although it should be noted for the record that Hazan is one of the most hard working MKs: he is Knesset Deputy Speaker, and participates diligently and industriously in the Finance, State Control Committee, Special Committee for Discussion on the Public Broadcast Bill 2015, House Committee, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget. He is also member of a long list of Knesset Lobbies.

The above impressive record of Hazan’s contributions is surprising only to those who recall how the media introduced him following the last election, as a playboy drug dealer who managed casinos in Bulgaria and furnished cocaine and escorts for Israelis on vacation.

The Likud leadership has had it up to here with Hazan’s erratic behavior (he has endured several reprimands and a suspension for verbal brawls with opposition members, most recently his arch-enemy Hanin Zoabi from the Joint Arab List). They would like to post a more obedient MK at the Control Committee, because Netanyahu desperately wants to avoid a hearing on his cabinet’s management of the Gaza campaign. To remind the reader, 67 Israelis died in that war, and there are growing voices in Israel saying many of those deaths could be avoided. The head of the most right wing government in recent memory, Netanyahu does not need to be accused of military failure.

The opposition has been livid over Netanyahu’s intent to drop Hazan from the committee less than a week before the conclusion of the Knesset summer session. The same Zionist Camp NKs who last year condemned Netanyahu for letting into the Knesset a sketchy character such as Hazan now released a statement saying: “Bibi is afraid of Hazan. He is afraid of criticism, and above all he is afraid that criticism of operation Defensive Shield would expose him as being weak against the Hamas — that he is more a talkback artist than a leader.”

MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid), chair of the State Control Committee, accused Netanyahu of trying to sabotage the committee’s work. “The prime minister is acting on strictly political considerations and it isn’t clear of what he is so afraid,” she said.

Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) called on Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to block the Likud Knesset faction’s move against Hazan. “The prime minister is so fearful of the comptroller’s report on Defensive Shield that he dishonors the Knesset and steps on the foundations of democracy,” Jelin said. “The next phase for the PM, after completing his domination of all the MKs, would be to pass the constitution for a new dictatorship.”

Incidentally, it’s been suggested recently that Netanyahu, who is 67, could remain Israel’s prime minister for many years to come — seeing as his exulted father Prof. Benzion Netanyahu lived to the ripe old age of 101. It could mean as many as 10 more terms for the ambitious Netanyahu, who would be the prime minister of Israeli children who are not yet born.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-hazan-darling-of-israeli-left-over-dismissal-by-netanyahu-in-gaza-inquiry-brawl/2016/08/03/

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