Photo Credit: Screenshot from the Tadmor Levy legal firm's website.
Gali Baharav-Miara, the likely candidate for Israel's next Attorney General.

The state informed the High Court of Justice Wednesday morning that the government’s decision regarding the maritime agreement between Israel and Lebanon is not the end of the story, and therefore asked the court to reject three petitions filed against the deal’s approval.

The state argued that “convening the cabinet and the government today, as well as the consequent decision the government will reach, do not constitute a final approval of the agreement or the creation of an irreversible state of affairs, and so, clearly, there is no room for any judicial intervention at this time.”


The state added that if the agreement is submitted to the Knesset for comments, the government would be able to discuss the Knesset’s comments and only then decide whether to approve the agreement.

The petition submitted by the NGO Lavi argued that the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that it is the role of the Knesset to oversee political affairs during the term of a transitional government. With that in mind, Lavi demanded that the transition government not be allowed to sign a done deal for the next, legitimate government.

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara clarified that under the current circumstances, the government must ensure even more strongly that the procedures for approving the agreement will be done in a manner consistent with the exceptional circumstances of the case, with an emphasis on the proximity to the election date. Accordingly, to the extent that the government does seek to advance the agreement, it must first hold a debate to decide whether it is sufficient to submit the deal draft to the Knesset’s attention in accordance with the usual rule outlined in the Knesset’s statutes, or whether the deal must be brought to a Knesset vote even though there’s no legal obligation to do so.

The AG’s position is that even though there is no legal obligation to seek the Knesset’s approval for the deal, given the proximity to the elections and in light of the election laws, it would be appropriate for the government to act this way.

Considering the current power balance in the 24th Knesset, it is almost certain that such a vote would kill the deal.

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