Israel swears in its 20th Knesset in Jerusalem

New government introduces 39 new MP’s and a record high of 29 female MP’s

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The 20th Knesset (Parliament) is being sworn-in today in Jerusalem. A swearing-in ceremony is to be held for the 120 Knesset members with 39 new members of parliament.

The 20th Knesset has 29 women including a female Secretary-General, Yardena Meller-Horowitz. This is a record high for female MK’s in Israel’s history.

The 20th Knesset also has a record high of Arab MK’s than before with a total of 17.

As per tradition, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin will enter the Knesset. After three gavel knocks he will give a speech, introducing and implementing the new government. He will then introduce appointed interim speaker, Amir Peretz of the Zionist Union to give a speech. MK’s will vote later on a permanent speaker for the 20th Knesset.

Following the speeches, 119 MP’s will pledge allegiance as Israel’s new lawmakers and will state together “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset” followed by the singing of Israel’s national anthem, HaTikva (The Hope).

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s mission to form a new coalition in the coming weeks was officially announced. The Prime Minister took the opportunity to congratulate the new government, stating, “We should all be proud of our unique achievement; we have preserved our precious democracy. This is a great achievement…  amidst turmoil everywhere we look… Nothing is as great and meaningful as serving the public and the country. My door is open and will continue to be open to all representatives of the selected parties; this is an invitation.”

He addressed his formation of Israel’s next government saying, “I intend to form a government that will work for all citizens of Israel without exception. Our first mission is to mend the rifts – this is a mission that unites us all. I want to emphasize again, I am committed to lowering the cost of living with an emphasis on reducing housing prices.”

And addressing Iran on the day of the deadline of negoatiations, Netanyahu stated, “It appears the deal being formed in Lausanne will leave Iran with underground facilities, the nuclear reactor in Arak and with advanced centrifuges. In our estimation, (the time to creation of a nuclear weapon) will be reduced to under a year and perhaps far less than that. The greatest threat to our security and our future was and remains Iran’s attempt to be armed with nuclear weapons…We will do everything to protect our security and our future.”

Members of the Knesset will give their inaugural speeches on Wednesday.