The Joint Committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, chaired by MK Zvi Hauser held a session on Tuesday to discuss the government’s decision on April 13, 2020, which proposes to the Knesset to renew the declaration of a state of emergency.

Hauser opened the discussion, and said, “The State has been under a state of emergency since 1948. In general, the very existence of the emergency situation has two main consequences: The first, allowing the government to issue emergency regulations, which in practice bypass legislation in the Knesset, and their validity is limited to three months. The second, the orders and laws whose validity is contingent on the existence of a state of emergency, which will become invalid if the declaration was not renewed.”

The members of the joint committee complained that in fact they have no choice but to approve the extension of the state of emergency, and discussed the question of what could prompt the government to work more efficiently towards detaching the legislation from the state of emergency – be it extending the state of emergency for a period of less than the year requested by the government, hold more frequent discussions in the Committee, or something else.

Following the discussion, the joint committee voted to recommend that the Knesset renew the declaration of a state of emergency until June 3, 2021. Seven committee members voted in favor of the recommendation, none opposed, and three MKs abstained.