( Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) congratulated Mr Rivlin on his election on Tuesday!! )
The Israeli parliament has elected veteran Likud lawmaker Reuven Rivlin as the country’s next president.
Mr Rivlin, a former parliamentary speaker and Cabinet minister, defeated long-time MP Meir Sheetrit, by 63 to 53 in a secret run-off ballot.
He will succeed Shimon Peres, 90, who ends his seven-year term in July.
The Israeli president occupies a largely ceremonial position and has no formal role in peace talks with the Palestinians.
Mr Rivlin, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, will become Israel’s 10th president.
‘Man of the nation’
He won when voting on Tuesday went to a second round.
“From this moment, I do not belong to any party; rather, I belong to everyone, a man of the nation,” he told Knesset members after the poll.
“I stand here before you with a great mission. Long live the Israeli democracy! Long live Israel!”
The 74-year-old opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, putting him at odds with the platform adopted by Mr Netanyahu.
He is also a supporter of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, another central issue in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.
Born in 1939 in Jerusalem
Trained as a lawyer
First elected to the Knesset (parliament) in 1988
Former chairman of Betar Jerusalem sports association and loyal supporter of their football team
Served as minister of communications under then PM Ariel Sharon between 2001 and 2003
Elected Knesset Speaker in 2003 in an uncontested victory