Yachimovich petitions High Court for Knesset to decide on gas exports

The Labor Party chairwoman's petition has been joined by Likud MK Reuven Rivlin.

Labor Party chairwoman MK Shelly Yachimovich and MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) will petition the High Court of Justice on Monday to issue an order that the Knesset should decide the issue of natural gas exports. Minister of Environmental Protection Amir Peretz also supports submitting the issue to the Knesset for a decision.

"A Knesset debate is not just a question of authority, but public legitimacy which should be taken into account in such important decisions like this," said Peretz at today's cabinet meeting.

Rivlin said, "The issue of natural gas exports was submitted in the past to the Knesset for a decision, and there should be no deviation from this principle. The Sheshinski Committee recommendations were anchored in primary law by the Knesset, and therefore any issue related to, or which influences or any consequences on this issue, such as gas exports, must go through the Knesset.

"Moreover, the scale of gas exports and all the arrangement related to the issue of natural gas have immense importance on future generations and will have major consequences on the State of Israel's economic and financial standing in the coming decades. The Knesset should therefore hold a worthy and necessary public debate to decide this issue. We're not talking about a minor matter, but a fundamental procedure."

Rivlin added that the petition to the High Court was unrelated to his personal position on the substantive issues decided by the Tzemach Committee, but only on the decision not to submit these arrangements to the Knesset for debate and decision.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 23, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

Lilach Weissman and Globes' correspondent
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