The National Security Council Law

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  The National Security Council Law, 2008

The National Security Council

1. (A) The Government will have a National Security Council that will operate in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem.

(B) The National Security Council will serve as the centralized advisory body for the Prime Minister and the Government on matters related to foreign affairs and the security of the State of Israel.

(C) The Prime Minister will be responsible for the National Security Council and instruct it.

Duties of the National Security Council

2. * (A) Following are the duties of the National Security Council:

  1. To consolidate the staff work of the Government, the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs and of other ministerial committees dealing with foreign affairs and security;
  2. To prepare the Government's discussions and those of its committees aforementioned in Sub-Article (1); to present alternatives regarding the subjects under discussion, in addition to their being presented by relevant bodies; to explain the differences between the alternatives and their significance, as examined by the National Security Council; and to submit its recommendation and the rationale behind it for the chosen alternative;
  3. To follow up on the implementation of Government Resolutions and decisions by the committees aforementioned in Sub-Article (1), and to report on their implementation to the Prime Minister;
  4. To propose to the Prime Minister an agenda and subjects for discussion in the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, and to any other ministerial committee or composition of ministers on matters of foreign affairs and security, and to make recommendations regarding summoning participants and the rank of the invitees to these discussions;
  5. To be responsible, on behalf of the Prime Minister, for the inter-organizational and inter-ministerial staff work on matters relating to foreign affairs and security, to present to them alternatives in the field, the differences between them and their significance, as examined by the Council, and its recommendation to the Prime Minister regarding policy in these matters; and to present the same information to the Government, as per the Prime Minister's decision;
  6. To prepare for and present to the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, at least once a year, an annual and multi-year assessment of the political-security situation, as well as to prepare situation assessments on tangential matters, including an opinion and analysis in various intelligence fields, as needed and with the Prime Minister's approval. Situation assessments as aforementioned, as well as assessments by the security bodies over which the Prime Minister has responsibility, the Israel Defense Forces, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security, are to be submitted to the Prime Minister and discussed in the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, at least once per year, in the manner outlined in Sub-Article (2);
  7. To prepare the staff work for the Prime Minister ahead of security budget discussions, as well as discussion on any other budgetary article that the Minister of Defense, or whomever he has appointed to the task, is responsible for, the budget the Minister of Foreign Affairs is responsible for and the budget of the security bodies under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, including formulating alternatives, according to reasoned priorities, with a comprehensive view; In this Law –

    "The Budget Foundations Law" – The Budget Foundations Law of 1985;
    "Budget clause" – As defined in the Annual Budget Law, as intended in the Budget Foundations Law;
    "Defense budget" – As intended in Chapter C of the Budget Foundations Law;
  8. To operate the National Crisis Administration Center in the Prime Minister's Office;
  9. To examine the security concept of the State of Israel and to recommend updates to it;
  10. To examine security initiatives of importance in the political-security field and present its position to the Government, the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs or any other body the Prime Minister wishes, including formulating alternatives according to reasoned priorities, with a comprehensive view, unless otherwise instructed by the Prime Minister;
  11. To execute any other staff work in the field of foreign affairs and security and in any other field determined by the Prime Minister.

(B) In order to carry out his/her duties aforementioned in Sub-Article 2, the Head of the National Security Council may hold discussions to which representatives from the security bodies under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and relevant government offices will be summoned, at a rank to be determined by the Head of the National Security Council. Those summoned as aforementioned must attend the discussion, unless the Head of the National Security Council is convinced that it is impossible given the circumstances.

* Published in the Law Book for 2007 No. 2178 on August 7, 2008, page 833 in the Hebrew (Proposed Government Legislation of 2007 No. 343, page 230 in the Hebrew).

Appointing the Head of the National Security Council

 3. *(A) The Head of the National Security Council will be appointed by the Prime Minister, with the approval of the Government. The aforementioned appointment will not be subject to a tender, in accordance with Article 19 of the Civil Service Law (Appointments), 1959 (hereinafter: the appointments law).

(B) Anyone meeting all the following criteria is qualified to serve as the Head of the National Security Council:

      1. He/she has been a citizen of Israel for the seven years preceding the appointment, is a resident of Israel, and does not have citizenship that is not Israeli;
      2. He/she has expertise, background and experience in fields related to foreign affairs and security in the State of Israel;
      3. He/she has not been convicted of a crime, the substance of which, its severity or its circumstance preclude him/her from serving as Head of the National Security Council;
      4. There is no indictment pending against him/her for a crime that the Attorney General feels that the substance of which, its severity or its circumstance preclude him/her from serving as Head of the National Security Council.

(C) The Head of the National Security Council will be subordinate to the Prime Minister, and will serve as the National Security Advisor.

Ending the tenure of the Head of the National Security Council

4. The tenure of the Head of the National Security Council will expire under any one of the following conditions:

    1. He/she announced to the Government in writing the end of his/her tenure;
    2. The Government decided, in accordance with the recommendation of the Prime Minister, that he/she is unable to carry out his/her duties on a regular basis;
    3. The Prime Minister informed the Head of the National Security Council that he/she has decided to cancel the appointment; such an announcement will be presented to the Government;
    4. An indictment against him/her has been filed for a crime that the Attorney General feels that the substance of which, its severity or its circumstance preclude him/her from serving as Head of the National Security Council.

The Deputy Head of the National Security Council 

5.(A) The Prime Minister, with the recommendation of the Head of the National Security Council and with the Government's approval, will appoint a Deputy Head of the National Security Council. This appointment will not be subject to tender in accordance with the appointments law.

(B) A person is qualified to serve as Deputy Head of the National Security Council if he/she is a citizen and resident of Israel. In addition, the qualifying conditions outlined in Articles 3(B)(2) to (4) apply to candidates for the Deputy Head of the National Security Council, with the obligatory changes.

(C) The Deputy Head of the National Security Council will be subordinate to the Head of the National Security Council and will serve as his/her stand-in.

(D) The tenure of the Deputy Head of the National Security Council will be five years and can be extended for additional periods, as long as the tenure is no longer than ten years.

(E) The tenure of the Deputy Head of the National Security Council will expire under the conditions outlined in Article 4(1), (2) and (4), with the obligatory changes. The tenure of the Deputy Head of the National Security Council will expire if the Prime Minister, with the recommendation of the Head of the National Security Council, announces to him/her that the appointment is rescinded.

Transferring Information

6.*(A) Any information on matters related to foreign affairs and security transferred to the attention of the Prime Minister will be transferred by the body transmitting the information to the attention of the Head of the National Security Council as well.

(B)

  1. The Head of the National Security Council or anyone authorized by him/her from among the employees of the National Security Council may demand from the government offices or their auxiliary units, from the Israel Defense Forces, from the security bodies over which the Prime Minister has authority and from the Israel Police information, documents and reports (in this sub-article – information), in the areas under the authority of that same office or body, which is required by the National Security Council to fulfill its duties;
  2. Whoever needs to transfer information as mentioned in Sub-Article (1) above will provide the National Security Council with the full information without delay. In the absence of agreement to transfer the aforementioned information, the disagreement will be brought to the Prime Minister for decision. If the Israel Police does not agree to provide the information in accordance with the demand as outline in Sub-Article (1), with the explanation that the information is related to a matter under criminal investigation, the disagreement will be decided upon by the Prime Minister after the Attorney General presents the Prime Minister with his/her opinion on the matter;
  3. The information as aforementioned in Sub-Article (2) will be provided to the National Security Council and will be safeguarded there in accordance with the conditions and security arrangements to be determined in agreement with the authorized officer as defined in the Law for Regularizing Security in Public Bodies, 1998, or as intended in Articles 21 and 21A of the aforementioned law, as relevant with regard to the office or the body that transferred the information. With regard to the Israel Defense Forces, information will be transferred in accordance with the conditions and security arrangements to be determined in agreement with whoever is authorized to do so by the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces for this matter in the military commands as defined in the Military Justice Law, 1955;
  4. With regard to studying the information, the Head of the National Security Council will determine the limitations for distribution within the National Security Council, with the agreement of the body that transferred the information. In the absence of agreement on the matter of studying the information, the disagreement will be brought before the Prime Minister for decision;
  5. Without detracting from any instructions of law, a past or present employee of the National Security Council will not provide any information they received as part of their positions to anyone who is not authorized to receive it, unless required to do so by law.

(C) The Prime Minister will determine instructions in the regulations or the rules related to the transfer of information to the National Security Council with respect to meetings on foreign affairs and security, of ministers or their representatives with foreign parties, of the Chief of General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and the heads of the security bodies over which the Prime Minister has responsibility, or their representatives, with their counterparts and of Israeli officials with foreign officials. In this law, "rules" – instructions in writing determined by the Prime Minister that do not require publication on the record or any other public publication.

Summoning the Head of the National Security Council to Meetings

7. *The Head of the National Security Council will be regularly summoned to every meeting of the Government, the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs and any other ministerial committee or composition of ministers regarding foreign and security affairs. In addition, the Head of the National Security Council will be regularly summoned to every discussion of the Committee of Heads of the Secret Services.

Other Position Holders in the Prime Minister's Office – Reciprocal Relations with the National Security Council     

8. *The Prime Minister will determine regulations regarding the method of activity of the National Security Council inside the Prime Minister's Office, including on the matter of reciprocal relations between the Head of the National Security Council and other position holders in the Prime Minister's Office. These regulations do not require publication on the record or any other public publication.

Auxiliary Units
9.
*
(A) The National Security Council will be an auxiliary unit in the Prime Minister's Office.

(B) Despite the aforementioned in the appointments law, the Prime Minister may, after consulting with the Minister of Finance and representatives of the Civil Service, determine through regulations or rules instructions different from those applicable in the Civil Service with regard to organizing and managing human resources in the National Security Council, subject to instructions in the Budget Foundations Law and instructions in the Annual Budget Law. Instructions hereby determined in the rules will be brought to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for approval.​

Budget

10. *The National Security Council's annual budget will be determined in a separate budget clause in the Annual Budget Law. The person charged with administering this budget clause, with regard to the aforementioned law, will be the Head of the National Security Council.

Upholding Previous Laws

11. The instructions given in Articles 1 to 10 do not in any way detract from the authority granted to another body according to law or from the authority of the Mossad and from the authority of the Atomic Energy Committee according to law or the administrative instruction.

Implementation and Regulations

12. The Prime Minister is in charge of implementing this law, and he/she may, with the approval of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, institute regulations and rules, as necessary, with regard to its implementation.

Amending the Basic Law: Government – No. 5

13. *In the Basic Law: Government, 2001, Article 7 – is void.

 
Transitive Provision

14. *(A) The previously established National Security Advisory Team that operated as the National Security Council in accordance with the instructions of Article 7 of the Basic Law: Government, 2001, in its formulation up to the date this law comes into effect will be considered from the day this law takes effect and onward as the National Security Council, as defined in Article 1, and it will be granted all duties and authorities in accordance with this law.

(B) Whoever served as the acting Head of the National Security Council just before this law takes effect will be considered the Head of the National Security Council until the Head of the National Security Council is appointed in accordance with the instructions in Article 3.

 

 

                                                         אהוד אולמרט

                                                                        ראש הממשלה

                    שמעון פרס                                                            דליה איציק

                          נשיא המדינה                                                                       יושבת ראש הכנסת​