President Peres at 19th Knesset opening ceremony 370.
(photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)
Stay with us throughout the day as our correspondents live tweet as the members of the 19th Knesset - many new faces and some old - get sworn in by President Shimon Peres at a special ceremony.
Watch the event live (in Hebrew), courtesy of the Knesset Channel:
Many old faces returned to parliament Tuesday as the 120 members of the 19th Knesset were sworn in at a celebratory opening session, but a record 48 new lawmakers also took their seats for the first time.
Hundreds of activists from Green Course, Eretz Hadasha (New Country), the National Union of Israeli Students and other organizations stood outside the Knesset as the MKs arrived, hoping to remind the legislators to faithfully represent the public.
The activists also intended to ask the MKs to pose for photographs with a sign reading “You are swearing to work for us.”
Over 1,000 people were expected to attend the opening ceremony, presided over by Labor’s Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the veteran MK with 29 years of Knesset service under his belt. Ben-Eliezer is also the oldest MK, at age 77, while Stav Shaffir, 27, also from Labor, is the youngest.
The ceremony began with President Shimon Peres laying flowers on the memorial for the fallen in Israel's wars, followed by a meeting between him, Ben-Eliezer and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The members of the 19th Knesset were then to each declare that they “commit to be faithful to the State of Israel and faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.”
Media personality Jacky Levy was expected to read from psalms, and singer Kobi Aflalo was to perform a song.
The ceremony was to be followed by a toast to the new MKs.