Members of bereaved Israeli families have criticized the government for failing to send a single representative to the ceremony marking 44 years since the Yom Kippur War.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at the ceremony Photo credit: Mark Nyman, GPO/Channel 2 News
A ceremony marking 44 years since the Yom Kippur War, the bloodiest of Israel’s military conflicts, was held on Sunday without a single government representative present.
Eli Ben Shem, the chairman of Yad Labanim, an organization that supports bereaved families in Israel, said, “We would expect at least one minister to come and pay respects to the fallen soldiers, even if it’s not mandatory by protocol.”
According to a government official, the government was never made aware of the ceremony. “The Defense Ministry never asked us to send a representative,” he told Channel 2 News. “If they had, we obviously would have sent one.”
The Ministry of Defense said in response, “The protocol requires one state representative to attend the memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of the Yom Kippur War. The ceremony was attended by the President of Israel and the Deputy Chairman of the Knesset.”