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107. Concurrently with the achievement of peace agreements between Israel and Egypt in 1979, between Israel and Jordan in 1994, and the recent agreements between Israel and the PLO, an internal debate regarding the necessity of a state of emergency, and the scope of powers granted to the executive branch thereunder, has culminated in the enactment by the Knesset of two Basic Laws which significantly modify both the constitutional mechanism for maintaining a state of emergency, as well as the scope of the executive branch's discretion in promulgating emergency regulations. In the framework of those new Laws, which are discussed further below, the state of emergency currently exists by force of the declaration of the Knesset in May 1997, which is valid for a period of up to 12 months.
108. During the period of the British Mandate, numerous emergency or defence regulations were enacted by the High Commissioner on specific matters such as prohibiting the manufacture of explosives, overseeing the Mandatory police, and regulating immigration into the country. In 1945, these earlier regulations were superseded by the enactment of the Defence (Emergency) Regulations, which granted the Mandatory authorities extremely broad powers for the purpose of quelling riots and insurgencies and maintaining public order. Among other things, these regulations enabled the destruction and sealing of houses, administrative detention, trial of civilians for security-related offences in special military courts, prohibitions on freedom of movement of individuals or the general public, deportation, censorship, expropriation of private property, illegalization and prosecution of hostile organizations, restriction of the use of telecommunications, and so on. As with most other Mandatory and Ottoman legislation that was in force on the eve of Israel's proclamation of independence, the Defence (Emergency) Regulations, 1945, remained in force upon the establishment of the State. With several notable exceptions - most prominently the power to deport civilians under Regulation 111, which was repealed in 1982, and the power of preventive or administrative detention under Regulation 112, which is now regulated by the Emergency Powers (Detention) Law, 5739-1979 these regulations remain in force in Israel to the present day.
109. On 19 May 1948, Israel's Provisional Council of State enacted the Law and Administration Ordinance, 5708-1948, which created the new legislative and executive branches of the fledgling State, provided for the continued validity of previous laws and legal institutions, and transferred governmental powers held by Mandatory authorities. Section 9 of this Ordinance, which is quoted in full below, authorized the Provisional Council of State to declare a state of emergency, and gave ministers in the Provisional Government the power to enact emergency regulations for the purpose of protecting the State, public security and the maintenance of essential services and supplies: