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Bezalel Tends his resignation to Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, Feb. 5, 2023.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday submitted his resignation from Knesset to Speaker Amir Ohana. The resignation was carried out within the framework of Norwegian law, allowing a candidate on Smotrich’s Religious Zionism slate to take his place. The process enables Religious Zionism to increase its participation in Knesset committee debates as well as plenum votes.

Smotrich issued a statement saying, “The Knesset is very dear to my heart and I promise the Speaker of the Knesset and the citizens of Israel that I will continue to respect the Knesset and its members and come to the Knesset at every opportunity. I am resigning from the Knesset and will continue to dedicate my days and nights to work for the citizens of Israel in the Finance and Defense Ministries.


“I would like to wish great success to Zvi Sukkot, who will enter as a member of the Knesset of the Religious Zionism party. I have no doubt that Zvi will do a lot of good for the people of Israel and the State of Israel together with all the members of the best faction in the Knesset.”

New MK Zvi Sukkot outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, May 8, 2022. / Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Zvi Sukkot lives in the Yitzhar outpost in Samaria, he is married, with three children. He comes from a Haredi family in Beitar Illit, but after the Gush Katif expulsion gravitated to religious Zionism and became a Hills Youth. He was arrested in 2010 and released for lack of evidence after being accused of setting fire to a mosque. In January 2012, he was removed from Judea and Samaria for nine months by an administrative order aimed at “maintaining the security of the residents.” According to him, the specific reason for the order was not explained.

Amendment 49 to Basic Law: The Knesset, known as the “Norwegian Law,” was enacted on June 16, 2020, and allows an MK serving as a minister or deputy minister to resign from the Knesset, and in his place, the next candidate on the candidates slate of his party will enter the Knesset. If the minister or deputy minister ceases to serve, or is appointed prime minister, alternate prime minister, or acting prime minister, his membership in the Knesset will be renewed and the last “Norwegian MK” will tend his resignation. The law is not time-limited and it allows up to a third of a faction’s MKs to go Norwegian. The amendment is called the “Norwegian law” because it was based on a similar mechanism that exists in Norway.


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