Israel’s Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev has said she won’t be at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on Friday 5 August due to it clashing with Shabbat.

Saying how plans had been looked into how she could be housed within walking distance of the Olympic Village, so she wouldn’t have to drive on shabbat at the end of the opening ceremony, security officials have since told her they wouldn’t be able to guarantee her safety.

She said: “Shabbat, our national day of rest, is one of the most important gifts that Jewish people have given to the culture of humanity. As the representative to the State of Israel, the sole Jewish state on the planet, I unfortunately cannot take part in the opening ceremony of the Olympics because it would require me to break the holy Sabbath.”

United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov Asher said she deserved a medal for her action, saying: “Regev’s actions should set an example for other ministers for how to behave when they represent the Jewish people.”