Ultra-Orthodox attempt to rush Meron site clashing with police on Thursday

Police close down religious festival after extreme ultra-Orthodox rush Meron's religious site

Overwhelmed police forces close all main entrances to prevent overcrowding as buses carrying people from all around the country made to wait outside compound; rioters vandalize tomb of sage announcing they have 'conquered the site'

Kobi Nahshoni, Eitan Glikman, Moshe Mizrahi |
Updated: 05.19.22, 17:56
Police said they were closing down a religious festival scheduled to continue through Friday, after at least 17 people were arrested when members of an extreme ultra-Orthodox sect forced their way into the Meron religious site clashing with the police forces who were attempting to enforce a restriction on the number of people in it.
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  • The police then closed off all entrances to the site from the highway, causing large crowding and traffic jams and leaving many to wait for hours in the sun.
    4 View gallery
    עומס במירון
    עומס במירון
    Ultra-Orthodox attempt to rush Meron site clashing with police on Thursday
    (Photo: Eitan Glikman)
    Bus loads of people traveling from all over the country were made to wait as volunteers handed out water bottles.
    Meanwhile thousands circumvented the police, and rushed the site, posing additional danger.
    Police said 400 people remain at the grave site of a Jewish sage, which can safely contain only 170.
    4 View gallery
    עומס במירון
    עומס במירון
    Ultra-Orthodox rush the holy site on Meron causing crowding
    (Photo: Eitan Glikman)
    The rioters on the site, vandalized police cameras, took down fences and celebrated what they described as having conquered the site.
    4 View gallery
    סדרנים ושוטרים במירון
    סדרנים ושוטרים במירון
    סדרנים ושוטרים במירון
    (צילום: איתן גליקמן)
    They ignored called by religious leaders to vacate the premises and refrain from violence.
    In Israel's biggest civilian disaster last year, 45 men and boys were killed in a rush caused by overcrowding during the Jewith festival in Meron.
    A commission of inquiry into the tragedy was established to determine who was responsible for the safety of participants.
    This year, authorities put a cap on the number of people allowed at any given time on Meron, prompting complaints from the public that the restrictions prevented festivities.
    "There were more cops than there were people there to celebrate," some said.
    4 View gallery
    הילולת ל"ג בעומר במירון
    הילולת ל"ג בעומר במירון
    Festivities on Meron under restrictions after last year's fatal disaster caused by overcrowding
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Only ticket holders were to be allowed to participate in the religious festivities.
    Authorities also demolished or removed hundreds of structures and bridges erected without permit and in contradiction to building codes and banned vendors from the compound.






    First published: 17:01, 05.19.22
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