Israeli parliament welcomes 48 new members in official ceremony

2013-02-05 21:36:52 GMT2013-02-06 05:36:52(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The members of the 19th Israeli Knesset (parliament), elected in the Jan.-22 national elections, were welcomed in an official ceremony in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed the 48 new members when addressing the ceremony, saying "This is a great day for me."

The 19th Knesset will have a record number of 27 female lawmakers and more observant, kippa-wearing Jews.

Meanwhile, Peres talked about the budget and the deficit of 39 billion NIS (some 10.5 billion U.S. dollars) that Israel is facing, as well as racism and other internal issues, which will be, without doubt, topics the Knesset will discuss.

Benjamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), the most senior lawmaker, has been temporarily appointed as the Knesset speaker.

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