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March 18, 2015 7:51 am

Following Elections, Israel Prepares for New Knesset

avatar by Anav Silverman / Tazpit News Agency

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The Israeli Knesset building. Credit: James Emery.

It’s not only the public and politicians who are gearing up for the political changes following Tuesday’s Election Day in Israel. The employees of Israel’s Knesset are also completing preparations as they bid farewell to those Knesset Members leaving and welcome new members to Israel’s parliament building.

The Director General of the Knesset, Ronen Plot, instructed the Knesset management including heads of divisions and departments to ready the Knesset by Sunday for the new Knesset Members. Temporary offices and basic computer and office equipment as well as information detailing the different branches that serve MKs will be set up in the next few days.

Every new MK will receive an automobile ready to use as well.

“To be a Member of the Knesset is a public service. The Knesset employees and the Knesset administration are preparing to absorb the MKs and will do the utmost so that their entry to the Knesset will go smoothly,” Director-General Plot said in a government press release.

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“We will provide the MKs with anything they request and will allow them to carry out their work in the best way possible for the good of the public and Israel,” he added.

In less than two weeks, a special conference will also be held for the new MKs on March 29, where they will receive detailed explanations about their rights and obligations as well as the parliamentary and administrative services that the Knesset provides. The Knesset will also distribute a booklet detailing legislative processes, motions for the agenda and how to submit a bill, among other duties for the new MKs.

Israel’s parliament building known as the Knesset was completed in 1966, although the first government convened in February 1949.  The Knesset was named in reference to the representative Jewish body called Knesset Hagedolah (Great Assembly), which was convened by Ezra and Nehemiah in the 5th century BCE and was made up of scribes, prophets, and scholars. Just like the ancient Knesset Hagedolah, there are 120 members that make up the Knesset today.

Preliminary results from Election Day on Tuesday, March 17, showed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will likely continue to lead the country according to Israeli TV Channel 2 exit polls. Following Likud ,which as of Tuesday midnight had 28 mandates, was Zionist Union with 27, Joint Arab List with 13, Yesh Atid with 11, Kulanu with 10, and Beit Yehudi with 8.

Israel had the highest voter turnout rate since 1999, with 71.8 percent voting on Tuesday.

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