Reuven Rivlin sworn in as Israel’s 10th president

JERUSALEM: Far-right hawk Reuven Rivlin was sworn in as Israel’s 10th president on Thursday at a formal ceremony in parliament which saw elder statesman Shimon Peres stepping down. “In prayer, in awe and humility, on your behalf and at your command, I come to faithfully fulfil my role as 10th president of the state of Israel,” he said, a skullcap on his head and his left hand resting on a copy of the Old Testament. Known as much for his right-wing views as for his affable nature and quirky sense of humour, 74-year-old Rivlin takes over the presidency at a time of crisis for the Jewish state which is locked in a bloody showdown with Gaza militants. With the nation mourning the deaths of 32 soldiers over the past six days, the presidential inauguration ceremony was scaled down, with speaker Yuli Edelstein limiting the guard of honour and cancelling a cocktail party, Haaretz newspaper said. 

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Aaj Kal