Israel will hold its official memorial services Sunday for assassinated former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, as Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir – the man who infamously stole the emblem of Rabin’s Cadillac and promised to “get to Rabin” just weeks before his death – prepares to accept a senior role in the new government.
Rabin was assassinated by far-right extremist Yigal Amir on November 4, 1995, in the wake of progress in the Oslo Accords and the rise in terror attacks that followed it.
The official state ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, attended by President Isaac Herzog, Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Knesset Speaker MK Mickey Levy, High Court chief justice Esther Hayut and members of the Rabin family.
Channel 14 reported on Saturday that opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu will not attend the ceremony. Netanyahu did not attend last year either. During his tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu was often criticized during the speeches at the ceremony by members of Rabin's family.
The Knesset will hold a memorial service at 5 p.m.
In the meantime, the winner of Tuesday’s election, opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu will meet on Sunday with leaders of the parties that make up his bloc as he starts forming a coalition.
Head of the Central Election Committee, High Court judge Yitzhak Amit, has until Wednesday to hand the official results over to Herzog, who will then hold consultations at the President’s Residence with representatives of the Knesset factions, for the purpose of deciding which member of Knesset to assign the task of forming a government.
These consultations will be broadcast live. Herzog has a maximum of seven days for the consultations, but will likely take less than that, as the task of forming a government will be awarded to Netanyahu, the clear winner of the election.
Netanyahu will then have 28 days to form a new government and announce this to the president – and may request an additional 14 days if necessary. The new government will then be presented to the Knesset, which will then vote to accept it.
The Knesset, in the meantime, will be sworn in on November 15 and immediately choose its new speaker. This is not dependent on the government’s formation. Until the government is sworn in, however, the legislature will operate in a reduced capacity, and not all of its committees will begin to operate.
Likud No. 15 and former minister and UN Ambassador Danny Danon announced on Wednesday that he would demand the role of Knesset Speaker.
“The Knesset is the sovereign,” Danon said in a statement. “The citizens of Israel chose a new Knesset. The elected Knesset must immediately, upon its initiation, replace current Knesset speaker [MK] Mickey Levy, so that we will return the Knesset’s operation to the hands of the Likud, the governing party,” Danon said.
Other future coalition members who expressed interest in specific positions were MK David (Dudi) Amsalem, who wants the Justice Ministry; Ben-Gvir, who wants the Public Security Ministry; United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni, who wants to chair the Knesset Finance Committee and Religious Zionist Chairman MK Bezalel Smotrich, who hinted that he wants the Defense Ministry.