Israel - 19th Knesset sworn in
The 19th Knesset convened for its inaugural session Tuesday, a traditional plenum session during which all Knesset members pledged their allegiance to the State and its laws.
The new Knesset has a record number of new legislators – 53 – and 48 of them have never held a parliamentary seat. The 19th Knesset now also holds the record for having the highest number of women and religious MKs – 27 and 38 respectively. Thirteen of the house members are Arab and Druze.
The Knesset's 120 members convened at the Chagall State Hall, which is used for state receptions, where President Shimon Peres officially ushered in the new Knesset.
According to tradition, the eldest MK – in this case MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) will head the first plenum, pending the future election of the Knesset speaker.
Also in keeping with tradition, the first thing the Knesset's 120 members heard in the inaugural session was the historic recording of Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, declaring the inception of the State of Israel.
They will be sworn in next, in a ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Asher Grunis, with President Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serving as witnesses.
The ceremony will end with the traditional group photo of all Knesset members.