Religious Services Minister Avitan conducts wedding with 60 guests

Religious Services Minister Ya’akov Avitan conducted a wedding Tuesday night with some 60 guests in attendance, in violation of the government’s COVID-19 regulations for the current lockdown. At a wedding in Gan Yavne, Avitan first met with the groom and his family in their home to sign the marriage certificate, and then conducted the wedding itself in front of dozens of guests, Channel 13 News reported.Current government regulations stipulate that no more than 20 people can be present at a wedding, while visiting a private home is under certain circumstances also a violation of the regulations. Avitan apologized for participating in the wedding after the incident was exposed, saying he had been there only for 15 minutes but that “I made an error in judgement and I express my remorse for it.”Shas chairman and Interior Minister Arye Deri described the incident as “severe” and said he had spoken with and reprimanded Avitan for it.  “There is one law for all. Members of the government are obligated to obey the regulations.”Avitan is in good company among government ministers who have violated the coronavirus regulations they themselves have determined, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, Housing and Construction Minister Ya’acov Litzman and Transportation Minister Miri Regev. Other senior officials who have  also violated government health regulations include President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Yisrael Beytenu leader and former defense minister MK Avigdor Liberman, former Jerusalem mayor and current Likud MK Nir Barkat, and Yesh Atid MK Micky Levy. No one has been fired from their position for violating the law in this manner, although Levy did step down from his position on the Knesset coronavirus committee.

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