The Knesset plenum last night (Monday) approved in second and third reading the law, which authorizes the GSS to assist in the fight against the corona virus by locating patients. All reservations to the bill were rejected, and it passed by a majority of 48 supporters against 23 opponents.
The bill authorizes the GSS to assist the Ministry of Health in the epidemiological investigations until January 20, 2021. The Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister will submit to the Government a proposal to authorize the GSS, for a period not exceeding 21 days at a time. After government approval, the decision will be forwarded to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. After certification, the Ministry of Health will be entitled to submit a request for assistance to the GSS, provided that the number of new patients, on the same day or the day before, exceeds 200.
Under the bill, the Ministry of Health is obligated to launch a technology for locating contacts (the ‘Shield 2.0’ widget) within a week from the date of publication of the law, to distribute it and promote its use among the public. The bill further stipulates that a person who has been notified that he must enter isolation due to close contact with a patient, will be entitled to apply to the Ministry of Health for a re-examination of the data on the basis of which the notification was received. The Ministry of Health will respond to a reasoned answer as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after its submission.
The chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Zvi Hauser (Derech Eretz), who presented the bill, said that “the permanent arrangement is different from those previous temporary arrangements, it is much more restrained and it is proportionate.”
“The GSS tool is not a tool that is supposed to be available to an executive in fighting or fighting an outbreak of an epidemic,” Hauser stressed. “Therefore, in order to operate it, there must be a government decision. This decision is a 21-day limited decision. It should rely on the recommendations of a dedicated team of ministers, who are proficient in the Corona’s proficiency and expertise. “
Hauser noted that an “envelope of tight parliamentary scrutiny” had been added, as “the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has in fact gone into action at any given moment, can almost enter, and in fact not approve, the same government decision or set it at another time.”
“We have added another objective mechanism. I mean – not only its impression, we will define it, the subjectivity of the executive that needs to be used, but we have added a clear objective mechanism for the public, a kind of additional guardian that says; 200 new patients a day,” the committee chairman said.
MK Ofer Shelach (Yesh Atid) attacked the use of the GSS tool during the debate: “Five months have passed, no civilian application in the high-tech country. In the country that invented the WAZE, And do not know how many things in high-tech apps, in this high-tech country failed to pick up a normal civic app, by the way more efficient than that of the GSS. “