President Reuven Rivlin warned Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein of Likud that paralyzing the Knesset harms the county's ability to function during an emergency.
The coronavirus crisis, Rivlin said, must not be allowed "to critically damage our democratic infrastructure."
A majority of opposition members of Knesset are now barricaded in the Israeli parliament (socially distanced for each other) demanding the outgoing speaker (Likud) allow voting on a new speaker and committees which will reflect that Likud and its allies are the minority.
— Anshel Pfeffer (@AnshelPfeffer) March 18, 2020
The president's warning comes after lawmakers from Prime MInister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan could not agree on forming the committees which govern the parliament's activities – two weeks after the elections were held.
Speaker Edelstein has adjourned the session until next Monday.
The move follows the president tasking Gantz with forming a government, but Gantz still lacks a clear majority to form one. He does, however, hold a slight majority over Netanyahu's bloc. This advantage would have given him a majority in the important organizing committee.