The Supreme Court of Israel on Monday resumed consideration of petitions that would determine the political future of the caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Today (Monday), The Israeli Supreme Court will focus on looking at the terms of the coalition agreement signed between Netanyahu and former chief of staff Benny Gantz.
The court began on Sunday to consider petitions related to whether a deputy facing a corruption indictment has the right to form a government, at a time when Netanyahu is looking to form the next government despite the criminal charges against him.
Court judges heard petitions from democracy advocates and anti-corruption as well as politicians opposed to the coalition government agreement reached by Netanyahu and Gantz last April, whereby Netanyahu takes over the government for 18 months, followed by Gantz as prime minister for another 18 months.
In a very exceptional move, the session is broadcasted live on the Supreme Court website, as well as on television and radio.
The number of judges of the panel examining the petitions is also exceptional, with 11 of the fifteen court judges participating in the petitions hearing.
It should be noted that the law in Israel only mentioned that it is prohibited for ministers to continue in office if they face indictments because they are not elected by the people.
Lawyers for Netanyahu’s Likud party told the court that the court has no right to stand up to the will of the people or the will of its elected representatives.
The Likud party was leading the results of the Knesset elections that took place on the second of last March, by winning 36 of the 120 seats in Parliament.
It is expected that the commission, headed by the President of the Court, Esther Hayout, will issue its ruling before the deadline for forming the government at midnight on Thursday.
Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges is scheduled to start in late May.
The Israeli government’s legal advisor, Avihai Mandelblit, announced last week that he saw no legal basis to nullify the agreement to form the government coalition signed between Netanyahu and Gantz.
He explained, in his legal opinion that he sent to the Supreme Court of Justice, that “despite the legal difficulties, there is no objection to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu taking over the next government despite the indictments filed against him”.
It should be noted that Israel witnessed an unprecedented three elections in one year, the last of which was last March.