Netanyahu apologizes after no government representative attends annual Yom Kippur War memorial


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized after no member of the government attended the annual memorial for soldiers killed during the Yom Kippur War.

The ceremony, attended by family members of the 2,222 fallen soldiers, was held on Sunday on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

“I am very sorry that there was no representative of the government present at the memorial service for those who died in the Yom Kippur War,” Netanyahu said in the statement issued Sunday evening.

“This is an unfortunate mistake and I apologize to the bereaved families. I instructed the Government Secretariat to ensure that in the future there will be representation in the ceremonies of those killed in Israel’s wars. There is no greater duty to our loved ones who fell so that we could live in our country,” the statement also said.

Deputy Knesset speaker Hilik Bar of the Zionist Union was the only lawmaker to attend the ceremony. President Reuven Rivlin also attended the ceremony and spoke to the assembled.