Israel\'s Attorney General to Present his Position on Legality of Talks with Palestinians to Knesset Panel
Appearing before the Israeli parliament's constitution committee Monday, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein will, for a second time, explain his position regarding the legality of the government's negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in the aftermath of Prime Minister Ehud Barak's resignation, reported Haaretz newspaper.
Testifying to the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee a few days before he sent his controversial letter to Barak on January 1, Rubinstein expressed his legal position on the propriety of formal talks with the PA at this stage.
Though Barak and members of his inner cabinet were present at this Knesset committee hearing, they did not ask the attorney-general to clarify any points broached during this initial presentation of his opinion, said the paper.
During the committee meeting, Rubinstein acknowledged that the law does not place any formal restraints on negotiations during such an election campaign period.
Yet, he stressed that the law's intent regarding such an interim period is to prevent a power vacuum from arising - although the Prime Minister is, for example, empowered to take steps necessary for national defense, a transitional period is not well suited for the formulation of new, fateful policies, Rubinstein argued.
Justice ministry officials stressed that the attorney-general's position should have been well known to the prime minister because of its earlier, detailed presentation at the Knesset committee meeting.
Rubinstein is expected to tell the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee tomorrow that his judgment is based purely on legal, professional considerations, not personal ones, said the paper -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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