Yom Kippur War memorial ceremony
Yom Kippur War memorial ceremony Mark Neyman/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening apologized to bereaved families for the absence of Cabinet members at the official memorial ceremony for people who lost their lives during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

"I apologize that there was no representation of the government at the memorial ceremony for those who died in the Yom Kippur War," Netanyahu said. "This is a sad mistake and I apologize to the bereaved families."

The Prime Minister, a bereaved brother himself, instructed the government secretariat to ensure that the Cabinet is represented in future ceremonies in memory of the victims of Israel's wars. "There is no greater duty than this for our loved ones who fell so that we will live in our country," he added.

The state ceremony commemorating the fallen of the Yom Kippur War, marking the 44th anniversary of the war, took place earlier on Sunday on Mount Herzl without the presence of a government representative.

Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay criticized the government and wrote on Facebook that "a government that does not respect the past, its present is also poor, and is destined to end its way."

"A disgrace, there is no other word to describe what happened today on Mount Herzl at the ceremony to commemorate the 2,222 soldiers," Gabbay charged. "Every one of them has parents, brothers, sisters, comrades in arms, some of whom were there today, carrying a heavy sack of pain on their backs from that terrible war - and no minister thinks it is important enough to come and look them in the eye."

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