JERUSALEM (JTA) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for no member of the Israeli government attending the annual memorial for soldiers killed during the Yom Kippur War.
Family members of the 2,222 fallen soldiers from the 1973 war attended the ceremony 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.”
Deputy Knesset Speaker Hilik Bar of the opposition Zionist Union was the only lawmaker to attend the ceremony. President Reuven Rivlin also attended and spoke to the assembled.