Bodies of 2021 Meron disaster victims

Israel's Meron religious festivities return one year after major disaster

Police say they will limit number of people allowed on the site and only ticket holders will be permitted to attend but official in charge of event resigns suddenly claiming not all precautions taken

Kobi Nahshoni, Eitan Glikman, Yitzhak Tesler |
Published: 05.18.22, 08:59
Approximately 130,000 people are expected to attend a religious festival in Meron on Wednesday, one year after 45 people were killed there in the worst civilian disaster in Israel's history.
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  • Celebrations were expected to be limited and held under close police supervision to prevent over-crowding.
    2 View gallery
    הבוקר שאחרי האסון בהר מירון
    הבוקר שאחרי האסון בהר מירון
    Bodies of 2021 Meron disaster victims
    (Photo: Gil Nehushtan)
    Police roadblocks were in place early on Wednesday, and only ticket holders would be allowed to attend the festivities, expected to last until Friday.
    Authorities said they would limit the number of people in the site to no more than 17,000 at one time, and attendees will be given no more than four hours to celebrate the festival and then leave in order to allow others to attend.
    Still, the police said they would not be able to enforce the four hour rule and that if there is no cooperation from the public, many will be kept away in order to maintain the limit set.
    On Tuesday, police arrested a group of men from an extreme ultra-Orthodox faction who had in their possession bags full of equipment the officers suspected was meant to sabotage the electrical grid on the site.
    2 View gallery
    מעצר חרדים קיצונים במירון
    מעצר חרדים קיצונים במירון
    Extreme ultra-Orthodox men arrested on Tuesday, after they were found carrying sabotage gear outside Meron
    (Photo: Israel Police )
    "The police will act decisively against any attempt to disrupt the celebrations," a statement released on Tuesday, read.
    However,the official in charge of this year's celebrations resigned suddenly on Tuesday, claiming he could not assume responsibility for public safety after not all necessary precautions were in place.
    The commission of inquiry into last year's tragedy has yet to release its findings but many of the structures on Meron, who were build without permits and posed a danger, were already demolished.





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