The Israeli Knesset will be sworn in on Monday marking the start of the 17th Knesset term with 41 new members elected on March 28. The new Knesset will not work until after the Jewish Holydays of Passover.

None of the Israeli parties who ran for the elections managed to win enough majorities to allow it to form the government.  Therefore, coalitions will be formed to form the new Israeli cabinet, amongst expectations of blackmailing by the Israeli parties to the newly formed Kadima party who won the highest number of seats.

Likud leader Benjamine Netanyahu said last week that his party would not join the government; where as Kadima leaders stated that they are seeking the formation of a broad government.

The Kadima party, formed by the ailing former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, won the elections on a political program that advocates unilateral moves regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict instead of negotiations to solve the conflict.

Kadima party, headed by Ehud Olmert, is planning to unilaterally remove some settlers from the West Bank and annex major West Bank settlements blocs into Israel, a step that would shrink the west bank into almost 50% of its original area.

In the new Knesset, there are 17 women, 36 religious and ultra orthodox members, four of which belong to the Kadima party.  The youngest member is 29 year-old Alex Miller ( our home) where as the oldest remains former Labor Party leader 82-year-old Shimon Peres now Kadima.

Results of the elections as announced by the election committee state that Kadima won 29 Knesset seats, Labor – 19, Likud – 12, Shas – 12 each, Israel Our Home – 11, National Union-National Religious Party – 9, Pensioners Party – 7, United Torah Judaism – 6, Meretz – 5, United Arab List-Ta’al – 4, Hadash and National Democratic Assembly – 3 mandates each.

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