What the Knesset is
The Knesset is the parliament of the State.
Place of sitting
The place of sitting of the Knesset is Jerusalem.
The Knesset shall, upon its election, consist of
one hundred and twenty members.
The Knesset shall be elected by general,
national, direct, equal, secret and proportional
elections, in accordance with the Knesset Elections
Law; this section shall not be varied save by a
majority of the members of the Knesset.
The right to vote
Every Israel national of or over the age of
eighteen years shall have the right to vote in
elections to the Knesset unless a court has deprived
him of that right by virtue of any Law; the Elections
Law shall determine the time at which a person shall
be considered to be eighteen years of age for the
purpose of the exercise of the right to vote in
elections to the Knesset.
The right to submit a list of candidates (Amendment 21)
The list of candidates for the Knesset shall be submitted only by a party; the
means of association and registering of the parties and the conditions for
submitting a list of candidates shall be determined by law.
The right to be elected (Amendments 8,10,22,26)
(a) Every Israel national who on the day of the submission of a candidates list
containing his name is twenty-one years of age or over shall have the right to
be elected to the Knesset, unless a court has deprived him of that right by
virtue of the law or he has been sentenced, by a final verdict, to actual
imprisonment for a term of over three months and on the day of submission of the
list of candidates seven years have not passed since the day he concluded
serving his term of imprisonment, unless the chairman of the Central Elections
Committee has determined that the crime of which he has been convicted, in
accordance with the circumstances, does not bear moral turpitude.
(c) A candidate for the Knesset who has been sentenced as stated in Section (a)
and whose sentence was finalized after the submission of the list of
candidates and before he has begun to serve as a Knesset member, shall be
treated as one who has withdrawn from the list of candidates that included his
name, or from his membership in the Knesset, whichever the case, unless the
chairman of the Central Elections Committee has determined that the crime of
which he has been convicted, in accordance with the circumstances, does not bear
(d) The determination of the chairman of the Central Elections Committee, in
accordance with Sections (a) and (c) will not be required if the court has ruled
by law that the offense, in accordance with the circumstances, does bear moral
(e) For the purpose of this section,
"actual imprisonment" is the sum of all
terms of actual detention which the convicted person must serve in a single
continuous period, even if other sentences have been imposed, including
suspended sentences that have been activated;
"offense" is each offense for which a period of actual imprisonment has been
Restriction of candidacy for MK who leaves his faction (Amendments 12,21)
(a) A member of Knesset who leaves his faction and does not resign from office at
the time of his leaving, shall not be included, in the election of the next
Knesset, in the list of candidates submitted by a party that was represented by
a faction of the outgoing Knesset; this regulation shall not apply to a faction
split under circumstances determined by the Knesset Election Law.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
"resignation from a faction" - including a vote in the Knesset plenum not in
accordance with the position of the faction concerning the expression of
confidence or no confidence in the government; voting shall not be construed as
resignation if the Knesset member has not received compensation in exchange for
"compensation" - directly or indirectly, by a promise or future commitment,
including the assurance of a place on the list of Knesset candidates, or the
appointment of the Knesset member himself or someone else to whatever
Who shall not be a candidate (Amendments 2,21,33)
The following shall not be candidates for the
(1) the President of the State;
(2) the two Chief Rabbis;
(3) a judge;
(4) a religious court judge;
(5) the state comptroller;
(6) the chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces;
rabbis and ministers of other religions while holding paid office;
senior civil servants and senior IDF officers of such ranks and positions as
shall be determined by law;
(9) policemen and prison warders of such ranks
and positions as shall be determined by law;
(10) employees of corporations
established by law of such ranks and positions as shall be determined by law;
unless they have ceased to serve in that position or job, as stated, before
the deadline for submitting lists of candidates for the Knesset, and unless an
earlier date has been set by law.
Prevention of participation of candidates list (Amendments 9,35)
A candidates list shall not participate in
elections to the Knesset, and a person shall not be a candidate for election to
the Knesset, if the goals or actions of the list or the actions of the person,
expressly or by implication, include one of the following:
(1) negation of the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and
(2) incitement to racism;
(3) support for armed struggle by a hostile state or a terrorist organization
against the State of Israel.
Term of office of the Knesset
The term of office of the Knesset shall be four
years from the day on which it is elected.
Date of elections (Amendment 1)
The elections to the Knesset shall take place on
the third Tuesday of the month of Cheshvan in the year
in which the tenure of the outgoing Knesset ends, but if the year which preceded
that year was a leap year, the elections shall
take place on the first Tuesday of that month.
Extending the Knesset's Term (Amendment 15)
(a) The Knesset shall not extend its term except by passing a law by a majority
of 80 members and unless special circumstances exist that prevent the holding of
elections at their proper time; the extension shall not exceed the time required
by the above-mentioned circumstances; the election date shall be set by law.
(b) Without impinging Section 34, the Knesset is entitled, by a majority
decision of its members, to advance the date of elections as determined in
accordance with Sub-section (a) above, on condition that the new date is not
earlier than the date set for Knesset elections in accordance with Section
Election day to be a public holiday
Election day shall be a public holiday, but
transportation services and other public services shall
Publication of election results (Amendment 20)
The results of the elections shall be published in the government gazette
Reshumot within eight days of Election Day.
Convening of the Knesset
The Knesset shall convene for its first meeting
on Monday in the second week following the week in
which the election results are published, at four
o'clock in the afternoon, or, if that day is a
festival or the eve of festival, on the workday next
following the festival.
Opening of the Knesset (Amendment 27)
The Knesset shall be opened by the president of the state or, in his absence, by
the most veteran Knesset member present; if the president of the state opens the
Knesset, he shall hand over the chairmanship of the meeting to the most veteran
Knesset member present; under this basic law the "most veteran" is the one whose
membership in the Knesset is the longest, whether continuously or cumulatively,
and among those of equal seniority, the oldest.
The opening session (Amendment 23)
Arrangements for the opening session shall be determined by law and shall
express the character of the State of Israel and its heritage.
Declaration of allegiance by members of the Knesset (Amendment 23)
(a) A Knesset member shall make a declaration of allegiance as follows:
"I pledge myself to bear allegiance to the State of Israel and
faithfully to discharge my mandate in the Knesset."
(b) Arrangements for the declarations shall be set by law.
If the speaker of the Knesset has called upon its members to make their
declarations of allegiance and a member has not done so, that member shall not
enjoy the rights of membership as long as he has not made the declaration.
Non-declaration due to dual-citizenship (Amendment 22)
If a Knesset member holds an additional, non-Israeli citizenship, and the laws
of the country whose citizenship he holds permit him to be released from such
citizenship, he shall not declare allegiance until after he has done everything
required on his part to be released from such citizenship, and he shall not
enjoy the rights of a Knesset member until he makes his declaration.
Immunity of Knesset members
The members of the Knesset shall have immunity;
particulars shall be prescribed by Law.
Immunity of Knesset buildings
The buildings of the Knesset shall have immunity;
particulars shall be prescribed by Law.
Procedure and rules
The Knesset shall determine its procedures; in so far as such procedures have
not been prescribed by law, the Knesset shall prescribe it by rules; so long as
the procedure has not been prescribed as aforesaid, the Knesset shall follow its
accepted custom and practice.
Speaker and deputy speakers (Amendments 24, 27, 34)
(a) The Knesset shall elect from among its members a speaker and deputy-speaker;
until the speaker is elected, the most veteran Knesset member who is not the
prime minister, the prime minister-elect, a minister or deputy minister, shall
serve as acting speaker.
(b) The Knesset shall be entitled by its rules to determine restrictions on
the election of a Knesset member to serve as speaker of the House or deputy
(c) The Knesset shall be entitled, by a majority vote of its members, to
suspend the speaker or a deputy speaker or to determine restrictions on their
office; particulars to be set by law.
(d) The Knesset shall be entitled, by a majority vote of its members or by a
larger majority to be determined by law, to dismiss the speaker or a deputy
speaker; particulars to be set by law.
Interim speaker and acting speaker of the Knesset (Amendments 4, 24, 27)
(a) Whenever the speaker of the Knesset leaves the territory of the state, a
deputy speaker shall serve as acting speaker until his return.
(b) Whenever the speaker of the Knesset notifies the House Committee, or if
the House Committee determines, that for reasons of health the speaker of the
Knesset is temporarily unable to perform his duties, or the speaker announces
that he is temporarily unable to perform his duties and the House Committee
acknowledges his announcement, a deputy speaker shall serve as acting speaker
until the speaker notifies the House Committee or until the House Committee
determines that the speaker is no longer unable to perform his duties.
(c) When the post of speaker of the Knesset has fallen vacant - because the
speaker has resigned or has died or because the House Committee has determined
that for reasons of health he is permanently unable to perform his duties - a
deputy-speaker shall serve as acting speaker until the Knesset elects a new
(c1)(1) If the speaker of the Knesset is suspended from his post by a
decision in accordance with Section 20(c), a deputy speaker shall serve as
acting speaker until the suspension is lifted or until the election of a new
speaker, which ever the case may be.
(2) If the speaker of the Knesset is removed from his post by a decision in
accordance with Section 20(d), a deputy speaker shall serve as acting speaker
until the election of a new speaker.
(d) The deputy speaker who is to serve as substitute speaker or acting
Knesset speaker shall be elected in that behalf by the House Committee.
(e) During his tenure as substitute speaker or acting speaker of the Knesset,
the deputy speaker shall serve in every capacity assigned to the speaker of the
Knesset by law, shall perform every duty given the speaker of the Knesset by
law, and shall exercise every power vested in the speaker of the Knesset by law.
(f) The provisions of this section shall also apply, mutatis mutandis, if the
circumstances envisaged in Subsections (a), (b), (c), or (c1) with regard to the
speaker of the Knesset exist with regard to a deputy speaker who is serving as
substitute speaker or acting speaker.
Committees (Amendments 13, 14, 16, 28)
(a) The Knesset shall elect permanent committees from among its members and it
may also elect committees from among its members for specific matters; the
functions, powers, and procedures of the committees shall, in so far as they are
not prescribed by law, be prescribed by the rules.
(b) The rules may determine regulations concerning the authority of the
committees to summon an office holder or functionary of the Civil Service, a
local authority, a religious council, a corporation established by law or a
government corporation, and to require him to provide information on the
activities of the body which he serves, unless such disclosure entails some
violation of the law, of a professional commitment, or of an obligation of trust
to which he is bound by law, and he shall be assured the rights of a witness
before the court; the summons shall be issued via the minister concerned or with
his knowledge, and for someone who is not in the Civil Service this shall be
done by the head of the body in which the invitee serves; and the minister or
the head of the body in which the invitee serves may inform the committee that
he himself will appear in place of the invitee.
Knesset control over regulations (Amendments 30)
(a) Regulations that are set by a minister and that determine criminal
punishment if they are violated shall not take effect unless they are approved,
before being issued, by the Knesset committee responsible for the subject
matter; if the committee has not decided to approve or reject the regulations
within 45 days from receiving them, the regulations shall be considered as
(b) This section does not encroach upon the regulations of a Basic Law or
Commissions of inquiry
The Knesset may appoint commissions of inquiry -
either by empowering one of the permanent committees
in that behalf or by electing a commission from among
its members - to investigate matters designated by the
Knesset; the powers and functions of a commission of
inquiry shall be prescribed by the Knesset; every
commission of inquiry shall include also
representatives of party groups which do not
participate in the Government, in accordance with the
relative strength of the parliamentary groups in the Knesset.
Government member who is not a member of the Knesset
A member of the Government who is not a member of
the Knesset shall, as to everything relating to the
Knesset, have the same status as a member of the
Government who is a member of the Knesset, except that
he shall not have the right to vote.
Quorum (Amendment 6)
The Knesset shall hold debates and pass decisions
whatever the number of members present, save as otherwise provided by law.
Unless otherwise provided by Law, the Knesset
shall pass its decisions by a majority of those
participating in the voting - those abstaining not
being reckoned as participating - and the voting
procedure shall be prescribed by the Rules.
The meetings of the Knesset shall be held at its
place of sitting: Provided that in special
circumstances the Chairman of the Knesset may, in
consultation with the Vice-Chairmen, convene the
Knesset elsewhere. The meetings of the Knesset shall
take place on workdays.
Publicity of meetings (Amendment 17)
The Knesset shall meet publicly.
Publication (Amendment 17)
The publication of proceedings taken and
utterances made at an open meeting is not restricted
and does not entail any criminal or civil liability.
[Annulled by Amendment 17].
[Annulled by Amendment 17].
Sessions (Amendments 5, 29)
Regulations concerning the periods of Knesset sessions and the convening of the
House out of session shall be set by law.
[Annulled by Amendment 31].
[Annulled by Amendment 29].
Dissolution of the Knesset (Amendment 15)
The Knesset shall not decide to dissolve itself before the expiration of its
term of office, unless by passing a law for that purpose by a majority of
Date of elections after dissolution of the Knesset (Amendment 30)
The law concerning the dissolution of the Knesset shall contain a provision that
the date of the elections to the next Knesset shall not be later than five
months from the day the law is passed.
Term of office of the Knesset after dissolution
If the Knesset decides to dissolve itself, the
term of office of the next Knesset shall run until the
month of Cheshvan next following the termination of
four years from the day of its election.
Dissolution due to non-passage of the budget bill (Amendment 30)
(a) If the state budget bill has not been passed within three months of the
beginning of the fiscal year, the day following the conclusion of the above
period (to be known as the determining day) shall be considered as if the
Knesset had decided to dissolve itself before the end of its term, and early
elections shall be held on the last Tuesday before the end of 90 days from the
determining day, unless the Knesset has decided by a majority of its members,
within five days of the determining day, due to the proximity of the election
date to a festival, holiday, or memorial day, to hold elections at a later date,
but no later than 100 days from the determining day.
(b) Notwithstanding the regulations of Sub-section (a), if the state
president has initiated measures to form a new government in accordance with
Section 30 of the Basic Law: The Government, or elections to the Knesset have
been held after the deadline for submitting the budget bill in accordance with
Section 3 of the Basic Law: The State Economy, and before the end of three
months from the beginning of the fiscal year, the determining day shall be as in
Sub-section (a), three months from the beginning of the fiscal year or 45 days
from the day the government is established, whichever is later.
Continuity of the Knesset
The outgoing Knesset shall continue to hold
office until the convening of the incoming Knesset.
Extension of validity of enactments
Any enactment due to expire during the last two
months of the term of office of the outgoing Knesset
or within four months after the Knesset has decided to
dissolve itself or during the first three months of
the term of office of the incoming Knesset shall
continue in force until the expiration of the said
Remuneration of Knesset Members
The members of the Knesset shall receive a
salary as provided by Law.
Resignation of member of the Knesset
A member of the Knesset may resign his office;
resignation shall be by personal presentation of a
letter of resignation by the resigning member to the
Chairman of the Knesset or, if the member is unable to
present the letter of resignation personally, then by
delivery thereof in the manner prescribed by the
Rules; the letter of resignation shall be signed on
the day of the presentation or delivery.
Consequences of resignation
If a member of the Knesset tenders his
resignation, his membership of the Knesset shall cease
forty-eight hours after the letter of resignation
reaches the Chairman of the Knesset, unless the member
withdraws resignation before then.
Termination of tenure or candidacy (Amendment 33)
If a member of the Knesset or an elected candidate for Knesset membership has
been appointed to a position whose holder is barred from being a candidate for
the Knesset, his membership in the Knesset or candidacy for the Knesset,
whichever applies, ceases upon his election or his appointment to one of the
above positions; for this purpose, "a candidate for the Knesset" is one whose
name is included in the list of candidates for the Knesset, from the day the
list is submitted until the day of the beginning of his tenure as a member of
Knesset Member who has been convicted (Amendments 7, 18, 26, 32)
(a) If a Knesset member has been convicted of a felony by a final verdict, and
the court by its own initiative or at the request of the attorney-general has
determined that the offense bears moral turpitude, his membership in the Knesset
shall end on the day the court issued its final verdict, no matter if the
offense was committed when he was a member of that same Knesset, a member of a
previous Knesset, or before he was a member of Knesset.
(b) Sub-section (a) shall apply also to a Knesset member whose verdict was
made final after he began to serve as a member of Knesset; the request of the
attorney-general in accordance with Sub-section (a) may be submitted as long as
the verdict has not been made final; the request shall be submitted to the court
that issued the verdict, and if an appeal has been filed, to the court of
Suspension (Amendments 7, 26)
(a) If a Knesset member has been convicted of a felony, the House Committee may,
upon the proposal of any Knesset member, suspend him from office as a Knesset
member for the period during which the verdict is not final.
(b) If a Knesset member has been convicted of a felony and sentenced to
imprisonment, the House Committee may, upon the proposal of any Knesset member,
suspend him from office as a Knesset member for the period during which he is
serving his sentence.
(b1) The regulations of this section shall also apply to a Knesset member who
has been convicted of an offense as stated in Sub-section (a) or (b) before
becoming a Knesset member.
(c) The House Committee shall not pass a resolution under this section before
the Knesset member has been given an opportunity to be heard.
Replacement of Knesset Members (Amendment 7)
(a) If a Knesset member's position falls vacant, he shall be replaced from the
list of candidates that included his name by the candidate whose name appears
immediately after the last of the elected candidates.
(b) If a person's membership in the Knesset has been suspended under section
42B, his position shall become vacant for the period of the suspension and his
place shall be taken by the candidate referred to in Sub-section (a). If he
resumes his position, the last person on the list of candidates who became a
Knesset member shall cease to hold office, but his right to become a Knesset
member thereafter, under Sub-section (a), shall not be impinged.
Stability of the law
Notwithstanding the provision of any other law,
this Law cannot be altered, suspended, or made subject
to conditions, by emergency regulations.
Rigidity of sections
Section 44, or this section, shall not be altered
except by a majority of eighty members of the Knesset.
Application of rigidity (Amendment 15)
Section 45 shall also apply with regard to altering Section 9A (a).
When a special majority is required (Amendments 3, 11, 15)
Under this law, changing Sections 4, 9A, 34, 44, or 45 shall require a majority
vote by the Knesset plenum for first, second, and third readings; under this
section, "change" is either explicit or implicit."