19th Knesset holds inaugural session

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The first session of the newly elected 19th Knesset opened in Jerusalem.

The 120 members of the Knesset, including 48 new members, were sworn in Feb. 5 as part of the celebratory opening.

The session was presided over by the Labor Party’s Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the legislative body’s longest-serving lawmaker.

President Shimon Peres, in his opening remarks, addressed Israel’s foreign and domestic challenges, including the need to pass a new budget, equality in sharing the national burden, social justice, the importance of peace and the threat from Iran.

“Our foundation is the Ten Comman-dments,” Peres said. “Our vision is the edge of science. Members of Knesset, you are privileged to be representatives of the people. There is no greater right than to serve your nation.” — jta