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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, invited two child cancer patients from Israel to join them at the FIFA World Cup semifinal in Moscow on Wednesday evening.
The Netanyahus, who are in Russia for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, were told by the president that they could invite two guests with them to the soccer game.
“We decided to bring two wonderful children who are bravely battling cancer,” Netanyahu said of their decision.
The two children are 18-year-old Mika Lipsker from Katzir and 13-year-old Alon Izraev from Petah Tikva.
Sara Netanyahu, a child psychologist who is invested in the fight against childhood cancer, has been accompanying Lipsker and her family for the past nine years. Izraev’s parents originally immigrated to Israel from Russia, and he “really loves soccer,” according to Netanyahu.
“It is very exciting for us that we can make this dream come true for them [the kids],” Netanyahu remarked, upon his departure for Moscow.
Croatia, winner of Group D, will square off against England, second in Group G, in the World Cup’s second semifinal contest in Moscow for the right to take on France in Sunday’s World Cup Final. Croatia, twice penalty-kick winner in the knockout rounds, went through tournament heavyweight Argentina in the group stage, before taking out Denmark and host Russia in the knockout rounds.
England, runner-up to Belgium in the group stage, topped Colombia and Sweden to advance to the semifinal round.
Putin reportedly invited French President Emmanuel Macron to the final on Sunday, scheduled to take place in Moscow.