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The Knesset Plenum

The Knesset plenum is the central and supreme authoritative body of the Knesset, made of 120 members.

Bills, motions for the agenda, questions for government ministers, and no-confidence motions in the government are discussed, and debates on many topics (political events, national security, social issues, and the economy) are conducted there.

The plenum Hall. Source: Knesset.

The presence of all Knesset members is not mandatory for plenum activities. Unless a specific large majority of the total number of members is required by law, Knesset resolutions are passed by a majority vote in the plenum. Plenary sessions record all Knesset members' statements and voting outcomes.

Plenum sittings are typically held in Hebrew on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and members can speak Arabic.

The Knesset Presidium, which includes the Knesset Speaker and their deputies, establishes the Knesset's agenda. The Knesset elects its Speaker and deputies through open elections. Until the Speaker is elected, the most senior Knesset member (who doesn't hold a minister position) serves as acting Speaker. The Presidium has authorities and duties pertaining to the Knesset's routine work.

One sitting a week is dedicated to debating motions for the agenda raised by Knesset members. It also includes preliminary reading of bills submitted by individual Knesset members or groups of Knesset members.

Bills can be submitted by the government, Knesset members, or committees and may propose new legislation, amendments, or cancellations to existing laws.

Each bill is passed through four readings, including a preliminary reading and three additional readings, even though bills introduced by the government or Knesset committees skip the preliminary debate.

Between each reading, debates occur within Knesset committees to prepare the bill for the next stage.

After passing the third reading, the bill becomes law.


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