Gov’t to Try Pass Shin Bet Surveillance Law in 2nd and 3rd Readings

Israeli police guard at a roadblock on a road in Yerushalayim, on April 29, as part of the lockdown due to the coronavirus. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

The government will try to pass the bill enabling Shin Bet surveillance for its second and third readings in the Knesset on Monday, according to reports by Haaretz.

MK Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz), chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the Knesset, has been attempting to approve the bill in a limited form that will allow its implementation for several weeks only.

Last week, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee visited the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday as part of a series of visits the committee is paying to various bodies under its supervision.

Defense Ministry Director-General Amir Eshel briefed the committee members of the ministry’s main challenges, while Deputy Director-General Roni Moreno discussed the national projects the ministry is involved in. Brigadier General Ariela Knoll Lazarovich, head of the ministry’s Budget Division, presented the defense budget to the committee, while Avi Dadon, head of the Production and Procurement Directorate, discussed the ministry’s activity related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Towards the end of the visit, Chairman MK Hauser said, “We must prepare to block another outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. I plan to examine a temporary arrangement that will allow the Health Ministry to make supervised use of the Shin Bet’s tool for a short and limited time, and will give the committee ample time to hold extensive and thorough deliberations on a legislative arrangement for this issue.”

As such, several sources from the coalition have confirmed that the government will be trying to pass the bill for its final readings on Monday.

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