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HISTORY of the KNESSET

The Knesset first convened on February 14, 1949, following the 20 January elections, replacing the Provisional State Council which acted as Israel's official legislature from its date of independence on May 14, 1948 and succeeding the Assembly of Representatives that had functioned as the Jewish community's representative body during the Mandate era.

The Knesset compound sits on a hilltop in western Jerusalem known as Givat Ram. The main building was financed by James de Rothschild as a gift to the State of Israel in his will and was completed in 1966.

 

Over the years, significant additions to the structure were constructed, however, these were built at levels below and behind the main 1966 structure as not to detract from the original assembly building's appearance.

Before the construction of its permanent home, the Knesset met in the Jewish Agency building in Jerusalem, the Kessem Cinema building in Tel Aviv and the Froumine building in Jerusalem.