The High Court on Tuesday announced that it will hold hearings on Sunday appeals to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a coalition and the legality of the unity government deal struck with Blue&White leader Benny Gantz.
Petitioners request to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from serving as prime minister at the same time he is charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
Eleven judges will be sitting in the hearing of the petition, headed by Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut. Alongside her sitting Vice President Hanan Melcer, and judges Neil Handel, Uzi Fogelman, Isaac Amit, Noam Solberg, Daphne Barak-Erez, Manny Mazuz, Anat Baron, George Read, and David Mintz. Six previous petitions on the issue were rejected out of hand for procedural reasons, which stated that the petitions were filed prematurely.
Earlier today, the respondents filed a series of petitions submitted to the High Court himself. Netanyahu demanded that they are rejected. “The petitions constitute an attempt to drag the court to violate the sanctity of the foundations of our constitutional regime. In violation of the public’s right to choose for themselves who will lead it,” Netanyahu lawyers claimed.
They added: “With all due respect, the court has no jurisdiction to disqualify Prime Minister Netanyahu, while the Basic Law: The Government and the Government Law do not grant such a high court authority the exact opposite.”
The Likud party also demanded that the petitions be rejected outright. “This honorable court does not interfere with the discretion of the President, Members of the Knesset and the Knesset in the constitutional process of establishing the government – the executive branch of the state – whose purpose is to fulfill the will of the people as expressed in the Knesset elections,” the response reads. “She is not allowed into politics at the gates of the court and is not allowed to enter the gates of the political world.”
Blue&White party led by Gantz, who until the election declared that a prime minister could not serve under indictment, also demanded that the petitions be rejected outright. The party emphasized the importance of public trust in the rule of law, the purity of the dimensions, the severity of the crimes in the indictment filed against Netanyahu and the practical difficulty in the performance of the accused prime minister, To equally important values in an emergency. ”
Regarding the coalition agreement, Blue&White claims: “A legal arrangement of the rotation that has become acceptable in the Israeli regime and not leaving it at the mercy of political agreements is a positive necessity, although it is honestly said that it is mainly due to the distrust that prevails among the blocs.”
In 1993, the High Court ruled “Deri-Panhassi’s law” according to which an indictment against a minister or deputy minister may require their dismissal by the prime minister. Following two verdicts, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin dismissed Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and his deputy Religious Minister Raphael Panhasi at the time.
In August 2019, Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Haim Katz resigned after Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit announced his intention to indict him for fraud and breach of trust.