ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Report: Akunis to respresent government at Rabin memorial that PM plans to skip

File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial service marking 23 years since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, on October 21, 2018. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)
File: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a memorial service marking 23 years since the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, at Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem, on October 21, 2018. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/Flash90)

Science Minister Ofir Akunis will represent the government at next month’s annual state ceremony in memory of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planning to skip the event, Channel 12 reports.

Multiple reports in recent days cited unnamed associates of the premier confirming that he will be the first sitting prime minister to boycott the ceremony, and saying the event had become “political.”

Netanyahu faces persistent protests against his hardline coalition at almost all public events he attends in Israel and abroad.

The ceremony, commemorating the left-wing leader who was assassinated in 1995 by right-wing extremist Yigal Amir, has increasingly become a battleground between Netanyahu and Rabin’s relatives, many of whom blame the current premier and then-opposition leader for the polarized political climate that led to the murder, and who have increasingly accused him of once again stoking intense divisions in the country.

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