Palestinian Joint List says it will back Israeli law to stop Netanyahu becoming PM again

Palestinian Joint List says it will back Israeli law to stop Netanyahu becoming PM again
Ayman Odeh revealed his largely Palestinian Joint List's stance on Twitter, suggesting the grouping has the numbers to get the bill into law.
2 min read
21 October, 2021
Aymen Odeh revealed his Joint List's stance on Twitter [Getty]

The largely Palestinian Joint List grouping in the Israeli parliament is ready to back controversial legislation from the ruling coalition which would make it almost impossible for Benjamin Netanyahu to become Israel's prime minister again.

Among other things, the bill would alter Tel Aviv's Basic Laws, which are the Jewish state's equivalent of a constitution, to prevent the president having to ask any parliamentarian formally charged with an offence carrying a minimum term of three years or greater to create a government.

Likud and opposition head Netanyahu is being tried on one count of bribery and three counts of fraud and breach of trust – allegations he rejects. A lawmaker convicted of bribery can be fined or given a 10-year sentence, while one found guilty of fraud and breach and trust will be given at least a three-year term.

The Palestinian Joint List's intention to back the legislation was expressed by the group's chief, Ayman Odeh on Wednesday, and follows resistance from some senior officials including interior minister Ayelet Shaked.

The legislation to be put forward was published by Gideon Saar, the Israeli justice minister, on Tuesday, according to The Times of Israel.

"Shaked only has one finger, we have six [seats]. Gideon Saar, the law can be passed already next week," Odeh said on Twitter.

Shaked will not be able to vote on the legislation, having given up her parliamentary seat under a provision permitting ministers to hand their place to another who stood for their party.

However, other Yamina alliance members as well as Likud and the Palestinian-Islamist United Arab List are said to have issues with the legislation.

Should it be adopted by lawmakers, the provision will come into force after the next legislative election.

While Israeli PM Naftali Bennett has in the past suggested he is against this type of legislation and has not openly discussed it, the Israel state's Kan outlet said he gave the justice minister permission to publish the law.