Basic Law: the government

   The law, passed on 13 August 1968 by the Sixth Knesset, deals with the principles regarding the service of the elected prime minister and his government; for formation of the government and the qualifications for becoming minister; the procedures leading up to the formation of a government, its actual formulation, the way it functions, the distribution of functions among its members, its work procedures, and its powers; the powers of the ministers and deputy ministers; the tenure of office of the ministers and their salary; the continuity of the government; and the conditions for the resignation or removal of the prime minister, which lead to new general elections. Only a majority of the Knesset members can amend the law.
   An amended version of the law, adopted on 17 March 1992 by the 12th Knesset, allowed for the direct election of the prime minister of Israel. This amended law, which came into effect with the simultaneous election (see KNESSET ELECTIONS) of Benjamin Netanyahu and the 13th Knesset in 1996, was also in effect for the 1999 election of Ehud Barak and the 14th Knesset. In addition, it was by reference to the 1992 version of Basic Law: The Government that Ariel Sharon was voted into office in the special direct election for the prime minister alone in 2001. However, general dissatisfaction among Israelis with the continued disarray in the electoral process led the Knesset to rescind the 1992 amendment to Basic Law: The Government, specifically the direct election of the prime minister, on 3 March 2001. With only minor variations, the law was returned to the version passed by the Knesset in 1968.
   The law provides that the government is the executive authority of the state and its seat is Jerusalem. It is comprised of the prime minister and other ministers who will be appointed by the prime minister and approved by the Knesset.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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