BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel swears in new president amid Gaza war

Newly elected Israeli president Reuven Rivlin speaks at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June, 10, 2014.

JERUSALEM: Israel's parliament has sworn in Reuven Rivlin as the country's new president, replacing Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres whose term ends as Israel is fighting a war against Hamas in Gaza.

Rivlin's swear-in ceremony came amid a particularly deadly day in the conflict, which erupted on July 8. So far, over 750 Palestinians, including many civilians, have died in the war. On the Israeli side, 32 soldiers, two civilians and a Thai worker have been killed.

The Israeli presidency is a mostly ceremonial post but having Peres, a lifelong dove, at its helm for seven years helped the country's image abroad.

Rivlin is a veteran politician and supporter of settlements in areas Palestinians demand as part of their future state.

 

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