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Yifat Shasha-Bitton removed as Coronavirus Committee head

Coalition chairman MK Miki Zohar sent a letter Tuesday evening to MK Yifat Shasha-Bitton informing her that due to her absences from several votes at the Knesset plenum she would be removed from her position as chairwoman of the Knesset Coronavirus Committee.

The letter was sent following MK Zohar’s announcement to Likud MKs yesterday of his decision to impose penalties on MKs who were absent from votes in the Knesset plenum last week.

The penalties imposed on most Likud MKs who were absent from the votes will be restrictions on their ability to submit bills to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. The penalty imposed on MK Ssasha-Bitton was unusually severe.

The Likud party had previously attempted to oust MK Shasha-Bitton as head of the Coronavirus Committee after the committee overturned restrictions which were imposed by the government’s Coronavirus Cabinet, but relented in the face of opposition to her removal by the Blue and White party.

It now appears that the move may be successful, as the reason for the dismissal is not the function of the Coronavirus Cabinet but a breach of coalition discipline.

Yamina MK Ayelet Shaked criticized the move in a post on Twitter. “In this bad coalition, when somebody finally does right by the public they are immediately fired. Yifat Shasha-Bitton, we value strong women.”

Source: Arutz Sheva

Responding to Zohar, Shasha-Biton said the decision to oust her was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s.

“I acted according to my conscious. The prime minister’s decision to fire me is meant to prevent serious deliberations, discourse, listening to the public, [and] other voices being heard,” she wrote on Twitter.

“I’m also happy that I opened the committee to the public with transparency, seriousness and full attentiveness, and I pledge to continue to do so in the future in whatever position I’m in.”

Shasha-Biton, who has led the committee since June, butted heads with Netanyahu for overturning a number of cabinet decisions to restrict businesses during the pandemic, including the closures of restaurants, gyms and pools.

Source: TOI