MK Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael (Kadima) on Thursday agreed to join the Knesset instead of Shimon Peres, who was elected president on Wednesday. Ben-Yisrael, chairman of the Israel Space Agency, informed cabinet secretary Yisrael Maimon of his decision. A Kadima spokesman said the faction was proud to have in its ranks a man who had won the Israel Security Prize and said he was sure Ben-Yisrael would be a central force in the Knesset, contributing from his rich security experience. As well as chairing the Israel Space Agency, Ben-Yisrael heads the program of defense studies at Tel Aviv University and is a former major-general who headed the IDF's Technology and Logistics Directorate. Ben-Yisrael, the next name on the Kadima list, automatically became an MK the moment Peres was elected president. According to The Basic Law: The Knesset, Peres also ceased to be a minister at that moment, even though he will only be sworn in in July. Ben-Yisrael decided to remain in the Knesset rather than resign to keep his other jobs.