Fewer than three hours after the filibuster ended 17 MKs showed up to give one-minute speeches. The Knesset discussed six bills on Tuesday, passing all of them, including three in their third readings. The Knesset called it a day after an hour and forty minutes.

Ban on Splitting Prescriptions Bill

MK Cohen (Shas) explained that the bill he co-sponsored with MK Adato (Kadima) will bring some order to the pharmaceutical industry and solve complicated issues.

MK Ze’ev (Shas) agreed the current situation is not a good one, but suggested other changes that should be made instead.

MK Oron (Meretz) said this was an important bill and it should be advanced as soon as possible. He decided to discuss a different subject as well and suggested that the privatizing of medicine in Israel would be a dangerous thing.

The bill passed its first reading 11-0 and was sent to the Health Committee.

Mark the purpose of non-prescription drugs on the product’s packaging Bill

MK Levi-Abukasis (Y.B.) said this bill will force pharmaceutical companies to put the purpose of the non-prescription medication on the bottle, instead of the paper insert that people never read and throw out.

MK Ze’ev supported the bill and said it will help prevent pointless deaths. He chose to also talk about Shas’ position on the Emmanuel situation. Speaker Rivlin recalled that Nisim Ze’ev was the first elected Shas official, when he was elected Jerusalem’s deputy mayor, before the party had Knesset representation. Ze’ev explained that the Emmanuel situation is in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem too; therefore Emmanuel should not be taken too seriously.

The bill passed its first reading 11-0 and was sent to the Health Committee.

Amendment to the Witness Protection Bill

Chairman of the Interior Committee MK Azulai (Shas) explained that the amendments that were requested from the homeland security ministry will transfer subject matters of witness protection to closed door interior committee meetings of five members.

MK Ze’ev asked if the Interior Committee is the correct place for such matters. He also warned that testimonies in closed door meetings are not allowed in court.

The bill passed its first reading 8-0 and was sent to the Interior Committee.

Planning and Building Bill

MK Azulai explained this bill would shorten the bureaucracy for the planning phase of building and construction projects.

MK Ze’ev explained his objection to the bill. He warned this would hurt the neighbor’s right of appeal and 60 days is not long enough to write a proper objection. Ze’ev also condemned illegal construction of Arabs in particular.

Deputy Speaker Maklev (U.T.J.) convinced MK Ze’ev to withdraw his objection.

The bill passed its second and third readings 9-0.

Amendment to Continue TV Broadcasts of Local News Bill

MK Okunis (Likud) explained the amendment will extend the bill for a year and a half, which will allow Hot and Yes to broadcast their original local news until the end of 2011. Okunis said he hoped that the bill will be presented without the need for an extension in the future.

The bill passed 8-0 in its second reading and 7-0 in its third reading.

Amendment to the State Education Bill

Chairman of the Education Committee Orlev (J.H.) explained his bill would make political appointments easier in the two main religious education institutions and that their terms would be extended to five years instead of four years. The amendment would also allow these political appointments to be re-affirmed for additional terms. MK Orlev thanked his assistants and the committee assistants who helped him on the amendment (and who, thanks to the bill, will probably be promoted to new jobs in the education ministry).

The bill passed its second reading 7-0 and its third reading 6-0.

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