Security personel at Mount Meron during the disaster
Security personel at Mount Meron during the disaster
Photo: Moshe Mizrahi
Northern District chief Shimon Lavi

Police braces for investigation over Meron disaster

Despite public support for the force and rampant criticism of the politicians for their part in the disaster, Police commissioner backs down from demand for commission of inquiry; Northern command chief says proud of cops

Eli Senior |
Published: 05.04.21 , 11:59
The Northern District police are preparing for the Police Internal Investigations Department’s inquiry into the Mount Meron disaster.
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  • The inquiry into the civilian disaster that left 45 dead and 150 injured will include the testimonies of officers and senior officers alike who will face questioning.
    4 צפייה בגלריה
    ניצב שמעון לביא
    ניצב שמעון לביא
    Northern District chief Shimon Lavi
    Northern District chief Shimon Lavi, who was the first official to assume responsibility for the disaster, referred in a video to the wave of support he and the police received from the public, following the announcement of an internal inquiry into the disaster.
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    Security personel at Mount Meron during the disaster
    Security personel at Mount Meron during the disaster
    Security personel at Mount Meron during the disaster
    (Photo: Moshe Mizrahi)
    "In these moments you learn about the value of friendship, the value of camaraderie and mutual responsibility,” Lavi said.
    "The Israel Police is an amazing organization. It is one, large and united family. It is where you also learn about yourself, about what you are made of,” said Lavi, as he expressed his gratitude to the public for their support.
    Police officers help children out of the stampede on Mount Meron on Thursday

    “I'm very proud of my cops, my commanders, and you. I want to thank you for everything and salute you,” he told officers.
    The Department of Internal Police Investigations in the Justice Ministry on Monday laid the groundwork for their inquiry that will include summoning and questioning of senior officials. Lahav 433 National Fraud Investigations Unit will also take part in the investigation.
    The news of an investigation of the police has garnered no small amount of criticism from the public, including from former commissioner Arieh Amit, who claimed a national commission of inquiry was needed and that the police was being made into politicians' scapegoat.
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    מירון
    מירון
    Mount Meron shortly before the disaster on Thursday that claimed the lives of 45 people
    (Photo: AFP)
    “The police has some responsibility, no doubt, but a lot of other people also have a lot of the responsibility, and guilt,” Amit wrote on his Twitter page.
    Amit also lambasted Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who he claims torpedoed the attempts to form an official Commission of Inquiry into the disaster.
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    אמיר אוחנה
    אמיר אוחנה
    Minister of Public Security Amir Ohana during a Knesset session dedicated to the Meron Disaster on Monday
    (Photo: Knesset Spokesperson)
    “The commissioner and the district chief both announced during a staff meeting that they intend to demand a Commission of Inquiry into the disaster. [Ohana] then calls them out of the room one by one, and they return to the table to announce they won’t insist in their demand,” Amit wrote.
    "The commissioner’s call for a commission of inquiry is justified. He surrendered because the police are submissive to political thugs," Amit said.

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