Last Tuesday’s session lasted about four and a half hours. Three bills were discussed and advanced in their first readings. The motion on the housing crisis was the highlight of the day as the coalition and opposition MKs fired accusations at each other over who was to blame for the housing shortage, as well as what the solutions should be. Most of the one minute speeches were also on the subject of the housing crisis. The highlight bill was the extension of tax benefits to Sderot and the western Negev.
Non-Bills Summary

  • 22 MKs spoke during the one minute speech segment of the day. Most spoke about the housing crisis and reactions to the tent city.
  • A motion marking twenty years since Operation Shlomo brought Ethiopian Jews to Israel was discussed by Speaker Rivlin, Minister Eitan (Likud), Opposition Leader Livni and Ethiopian MK Molla (Kadima). The motion was meant to be symbolic and was not voted on.
  • House Committee Chairman Levin (Likud) announced that MK Azoulay (Shas) replaced MK Amnon Cohen (Shas) in the Funds Committee but MK Cohen will serve as a permanent substitute. He stated that MK Azoulay also replaced MK Michaeli (Shas) in the People’s Petitions Committee. He added that MK Rotem (Y.B.) replaced MK Kirshenbaum (Y.B.) in the House Committee.
  • Nine MKs asked Transportation Minister Katz (Likud) queries during a question hour.
  • A motion on the Housing Crisis was discussed by five MKs and Housing and Construction Minister Atias (Shas). It passed 11-0 and was sent to the House Committee to determine whether the Interior or Funds Committee should discuss it further.
  • Transportation Minister Katz answered four additional queries at the end of the session.


Bills Summary

Amendment to the Insurance Contracts Bill

Interior Committee Chairman Cohen (Shas) explained the amendment would change the cancellation policy of insurance companies so that a customer needs to pay insurance until the date he cancelled the policy and does not have to pay from that time until the policy is deactivated. He explained that certain insurance companies require certain forms in writing that goes through official mail and the process can take over a week and until now the insurance companies have squeezed additional money from the consumer during the period of time he is not officially covered.

The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Amendment to the Income Tax Ordinance Bill

MK Shemtov (Y.B.) explained the amendment would present college students who are working as interns in their future occupation or specialty with income tax points.

The bill passed its first reading 5-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.

Temporary Provisions on the Amendment to the Assistance to Sderot and Western Negev Bill

MK Hermesh (Kadima) explained the temporary provisions would extend the tax benefits for residents and business in Sderot and the western Negev. He slammed the government for hesitating to extend the provisions until the latest wave of rockets hit Sderot earlier in the month. He said the extension will be for two years. He called on the government to support the dairy industry in the western Negev and not to import dairy goods.

MK Zeev (Shas) recalled that during election time everyone promises Sderot and Negev residents everything and he is proud that this government is the one to give the residents what they deserve. He told the residents that he will stand with them before September, during September and after September.

The bill passed its first reading 6-0 and was sent to the Funds Committee.