The Knesset


22nd Knesset
Coat of arms or logo
Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, Likud
since 18 March 2013
Benjamin Netanyahu (Interim), Likud
since 31 March 2009
22nd Knesset 2.svg
Political groups
Caretaker government (55)

Opposition (65)

Party-list proportional representation
D'Hondt method
Last election
17 September 2019
Next election
2 March 2020
Meeting place
Knesset Building (South Side).JPG
Knesset, Givat Ram, West Jerusalem,

The Knesset (Hebrew: הַכְּנֶסֶת [ha 'kneset] (About this soundlisten); lit. "gathering"[2] or "assembly";) is the unicameral national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. In addition, the Knesset elects the State Comptroller. It also has the power to waive the immunity of its members, remove the President and the State Comptroller from office, dissolve the government in a constructive vote of no confidence, and to dissolve itself and call new elections. The Prime Minister may also dissolve the Knesset. However, until an election is completed, the Knesset maintains authority in its current composition.[3] The Knesset is located in Givat Ram, Western Jerusalem. The Knesset was temporarily dissolved on 30 May 2019.[4] The Knesset returned on 3 October 2019 following the swearing in of new members[5], though it was dissolved on 12 December 2019.[6]


The term "Knesset" is derived from the ancient Knesset HaGdola (Hebrew: כְּנֶסֶת הַגְּדוֹלָה‎) or "Great Assembly", which according to Jewish tradition was an assembly of 120 scribes, sages, and prophets, in the period from the end of the Biblical prophets to the time of the development of Rabbinic Judaism – about two centuries ending c. 200 BCE.[7] There is, however, no organisational continuity and – aside from the number of members – little similarity, as the ancient Knesset was a religious, completely unelected body.


Members of the Knesset are known in Hebrew as חֲבֵר הַכְּנֶסֶת (Haver HaKnesset), if male, or חַבְרַת הַכְּנֶסֶת (Havrat HaKnesset), if female.