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Controversial illegal electricity law advances


The Knesset Interior Committee voted on Tuesday to advance a controversial bill enabling thousands of illegally built homes to be hooked up to the national electricity grid.

The bill passed unanimously because opposition MKs are still boycotting votes in Knesset committees. 

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) and Interior Committee head Waleed Taha (Ra’am – United Arab List) reached a compromise on the wording enabling the advancement of the bill, which must still be passed into law three times in the Knesset plenum. 

Joint List MKs voted for the bill, even though they said it did not go nearly far enough. 

Blue and White faction chairman Eitan Ginzburg, who is a former mayor of Ra’anana, said that although the bill would mostly help the Arab sector, because of a lack of government planning in the sector, it would actually impact all the local authorities in Israel.

 Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is seen speaking at the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked is seen speaking at the Jerusalem Post annual conference at the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, on October 12, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Religious Zionist Party MK Orit Struck told the committee that the real reason was that in the Arab sector, there is less care for obeying laws and Arab municipalities needed to do more planning, not the state. She complained that Jewish children in unauthorized outposts would not benefit from the bill. 

“There is no basic right to get electricity when you break the law, even if you are Arab,” Struck said. “This has been decided repeatedly by the Supreme Court.”

Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas officially launched the government’s plans for bridging the gap between the Jewish and Arab sectors at a ceremony on Tuesday. 

“I say to all those who want to prevent the plans from going forward, get over it,” Abbas said. 





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