The Knesset on Monday marked its 70th birthday, in conjunction with the Jewish tree planting holiday of Tu Bishvat.
Several hundred citizens were invited to take part in the celebrations, including schoolchildren, soldiers and senior citizens. Events included flower planting and various artistic activities.
Israel’s first legislative election was held on January 25, 1949. The first Knesset convened on Tu Bishvat of that year — February 14.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein planted a tree along with disabled Knesset employees at the Knesset plaza.
Edelstein said the day was a celebration of Israel’s “prospering democracy.”
The two announced that the workers, who had been employed as temporary employees, will henceforth be absorbed int othe Knesset’s permanent workforce.
“We are proud of you, our Knesset employees,” Netanyahu said. “A happy Tu Bishvat and a happy holiday for the Israeli Knesset.”