Knesset Committees

Permanent Knesset Committees

The permanent committees and their chairmen are elected at the beginning of the term of each Knesset, on the basis of a recommendation by the Arrangements Committee. Membership in the committees is on a Parliamentary Group basis. On the days of the Knesset sittings, the committees meet in the Knesset building. On other days they may meet in the Knesset building or elsewhere. The committees occasionally go out on tours in order to study matters that are on their agendas. The committees deal with bills after they have passed preliminary and first reading in the case of private Members' bills, or first reading in the case of government bills, and prepare them for the next stages of legislation. Occasionally a bill may return to the committee after second reading if reservations have been accepted in its course. The committees may also themselves initiate legislation.

In addition, the committees deal with motions for the agenda that have been passed on to them; with regulations that require their approval; with requests by citizens addressed to the Knesset or the government; and with any matter which the Knesset may decide to pass on to them for their treatment. The committees frequently initiate discussions on a particular matter.

The committees have a permanent administrative team at their disposal, as well as legal and economic advisors supplied by the Knesset. The committees may summon to their meetings ministers, civil servants, external experts, and persons or bodies connected to the issue being discussed. The committees may set up sub-committees for particular matters, and the Knesset plenum or House Committee may decide to set up joint committees made up of an equal number of members from two committees and having the status of a committee for a particular matter. In the past, there were several joint committees consisting of members from more than two permanent committees. Committee meetings are not public, unless the committee decides otherwise.

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