Isaac Herzog has been elected Israel’s eleventh president, with 87 votes of the Knesset’s 120.
Herzog will succeed Reuven Rivlin as the latter’s term ends on July 9.
He will also be the first Israeli president who is the son of a former president. His father Chaim Herzog was Israel’s sixth president in 1983-1993.
Herzog, currently the head of the Jewish Agency, is also a former leader of the Labor party in 2013-2017.
Herzog defeated Miriam Peretz, a social activist who overcame the loss of two of her sons in battle to become an Israel Prize-winning educator. Peretz won only 26 votes.
In his first speech after being elected president, Herzog said he intends “to build bridges” within Israeli society and with the Jewish diaspora, to encourage entrepreneurship, “fight antisemitism and hatred of Israel” and “to safekeep the foundations of our democracy”.
“I accept upon myself the heavy responsibility you have placed upon me. I accept the privilege of serving the entire Israeli public,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Herzog on his election. “I wish him luck in the name of all Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu said.
He added: “I thank Miriam Peretz for her honourable candidacy and am certain she will continue to contribute to Israeli society, as she has done her entire life.”