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Shirly Pinto, Israel's first deaf lawmaker, sworn in by sign language

By
Zarrin Ahmed

June 16 (UPI) -- Shirly Pinto on Wednesday became the first deaf member of the Israeli Knesset when she was sworn in by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Pinto, 32, joined the Yamina political alliance in early 2019 and has been an advocate for persons with disabilities, particularly the deaf.

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Wednesday, Pinto was sworn in via sign language.

"This is one of the most exciting for me personally and for the State of Israel," said Bennett, who leads the Yamina coalition, according to The Jerusalem Post. "Shirly proves with her actions that anything is possible."

During Knesset sessions, Pinto will be aided by a personalized translator who will speak for her. Pinto requested that she be seated in a position that allows her to see the translator up-close, enabling her to be a part of the proceedings in real time.

A special light will flash when the bell rings before a vote is taken.

Pinto succeeded lawmaker Matan Kahana, who left the Knesset to become religious services minister.

Bennett was sworn in as Israel's 13th prime minister on Sunday, succeeding Benjamin Netanyahu.

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