Israeli PM postpones Mitchell meet to attend pilot's funeral
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has postponed a meeting with US Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell to attend the funeral of the pilot son of Israel's sole astronaut who was killed in a crash, his office said on Monday, AFP reported.
"Due to Prime Minister Netanyahu's desire to attend Assaf Ramon's funeral, his meeting with US envoy Mitchell has been postponed until Tuesday morning, in coordination with the latter," said a statement.
Mitchell arrived in Israel at the weekend on his latest regional tour aimed at kickstarting the stalled Middle East peace process ahead of the UN General Assembly later this month.
Assaf Ramon, the son of Israel's first and only astronaut Ilan Ramon who died in the 2003 Columbia space shuttle disaster, was killed on Sunday when the F-16 fighter jet he was flying crashed over the occupied West Bank.
News of the crash rocked Israel, where Ilan Ramon is regarded as a national hero, with the accident dominating news coverage and top dignitaries expected to attend the funeral of his eldest son Assaf later on Monday.