By a vote of 52-14, the Knesset has approved the recommendation of the Joint Committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee that the Knesset extend the state of emergency in Israel by a year.
On February 17, 2020, the Knesset declared a state of emergency for four months, that extends until June 17, 2020, and the Knesset’s Rules of Procedure stipulate that the Committee must bring its recommendations for the renewal of the emergency situation up to 14 days before the end of the state of emergency.
Following the establishment of the State in 1948, the Provisional State Council declared a state of emergency. The declaration did not specify what the state of emergency was, and did not limit it in time. It has remained in effect since then, with the Knesset extending it regularly. The state of emergency allows the government to issue emergency regulations that override the Knesset’s legislation.
In addition, the validity of some laws and secondary legislative acts are contingent on the existence of a state of emergency. Ove the past two decades, the government has generally made little use of its authority to issue emergency regulations, but following the outbreak of the corona pandemic, the government exerted this power on an almost daily basis.
A total of 38 emergency regulations have been issued since the outbreak of the virus for the purpose of restricting gatherings in public areas, providing economic aid to citizens, ensuring that vital services continue to be provided, and more. Of these regulations, 31 remain in effect.