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Israel's 19th Knesset sworn in

Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:55 PM

JERUSALEM, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Two weeks after elections, 120 Israeli parliamentarians attended an inaugural ceremony of the 19th Knesset Tuesday, briefly taking their seats.

President Shimon Peres welcomed the new and old parliamentarians who were officially sworn in, Ynetnews.com reported.

"The public's eyes are on you, members of Knesset, in the hope that you will prove to be worthy emissaries for the creation of a better future," Peres said in a speech to the parliamentarians. "On its 64th birthday the Knesset has renewed confidence and renewed legitimacy," The Jerusalem Post quoted the president as saying.

The session took place amid coalition talks to form the next government. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has 28 days to complete the task.

There are 53 new parliamentarians in the new Knesset; 48 have never held a parliamentary seat. The new parliament also boasts a record number of women with 27 elected, Peres noted.

"The Knesset serves the state and the public, not the other way round," Netanyahu said in an address to the parliamentarians.

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