An emergency worker gathers up the belonging of those caught up in the Meron disaster

Biden, Abbas and world leaders commiserate as Israel suffers worst civilian tragedy

U.S. president calls Netanyahu to offer American assistance, Palestinian leader pens letter to Rivlin as country reels from stampede that killed at least 45 people at Lag BaOmer celebration; UK, UAE, Russian and Indian leaders also express condolences

Ynet |
Published: 04.30.21 , 20:17
World leaders offered their condolences to the State of Israel on Friday after at least 45 people were killed in a stampede at Lag BaOmer celebration overnight, the country's worst-ever civilian tragedy.
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  • U.S. President Joe Biden said he spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to offer his condolences.
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    מחפשים את הציוד האישי
    מחפשים את הציוד האישי
    An emergency worker gathers up the belonging of those caught up in the Meron disaster
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    Biden said the United States stood ready to help as Israel responds to the disaster.
    In a statement, the president also said the United States was working to confirm reports Americans may have died or been wounded in the stampede.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also tweeted a message of condolence, writing: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy that occurred at Mt. Meron in Israel. We mourn the lives lost, extend our deepest condolences to the families, and pray for the injured to recover quickly."
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has in recent days lashed out at Israel over holding elections in East Jerusalem, sent a message of condolence to President Reuven Rivlin.
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    מכתב התנחומים של אבו מאזן
    מכתב התנחומים של אבו מאזן
    The letter sent by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin
    The president's office said the letter expressed Abbas' sorrow “for the tragedy that claimed the lives of dozens of victims.”
    The letter r: “We are praying for the victims and hope for the recovery of those injured.”
    Rivlin received a similar phone call from Jordanian King Abdullah II, who expressed his condolences to the State of Israel on behalf of his people.
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    ועידת הליגה הערבית בטוניסיה
    ועידת הליגה הערבית בטוניסיה
    Jordan's King Abdullah
    (Photo: AP)
    Rivlin's office said the president thanked the king, saying that the messages of support from around the world were heartwarming.
    Queen Elizabeth II also sent Rivlin a message of condolence, the British Royal Family said on Twitter.
    Netanyahu said he also received calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, unnamed leaders from Europe and the Arab world, including Bahrain and the UAE that last year signed treaties with Israel.
    UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed al Khaja also wrote a tweet of condolence in Hebrew, saying: "My heart aches with the news of the terrible disaster on Mount Meron during Lag BaOmer celebrations. I share in the grief of the families of the dead and wish a full recovery to the injured."
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tweeted a message of consolation, saying: "Devastating scenes at the Lag B'Omer festival in Israel. My thoughts are with the Israeli people and those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy."
    Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also took to Twitter to offer his condolences.
    "I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy in Israel at the Mount Meron ceremony for Lag Ba'omer," wrote Kurz, who visited Israel earlier this month.
    "I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and I wish a full & swift recovery to those injured."
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