Israel orders investigation into deadly mountain in Meron | Middle East News

A hurricane in April killed 45 people at a Jewish pilgrimage site that authorities have long considered dangerous.

The new Israeli government has approved a formal investigation into a mob in April that killed 45 people and injured dozens at a Jewish pilgrimage site that authorities considered dangerously crowded.

Although it was the worst civil disaster in the country, a large-scale investigation was launched Deaths on Mount Meron He remained under the previous government amid clashes between his extremist Orthodox Jewish opposition politicians.

“It is our responsibility to learn a lesson and prevent another catastrophe,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told the first cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“The commission cannot bring back the victims, but the government can do everything in its power to prevent further casualties.”

A government cabinet statement said the results of the poll would help protect other mass events in Israel, where there are holy sites for Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Years ago, the authorities considered the area of ​​Mount Mero dangerous [File: Reuters]

Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered on April 30 for the annual Lag B’Omer Tomb Festival at Wise Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai Tomb on Mount Galilee, which includes all-night prayer, mystical songs, and dancing.

This year the numbers were lower than in previous years, but still higher than allowed by COVID-19 curbs.

Some Israelis have questioned whether former Benjamin Netanyahu’s police leadership was reluctant to limit the crowd due to pressure from influential extremist Orthodox leaders.

During the ceremony, part of the crowd came out into a narrow tunnel 45 men և boys were suffocated or trampled.

Police are already investigating, and Israeli government surveillance, which years ago considered Mount Mero dangerous, has announced its own investigation, although it can not prosecute.

Netanyahu promised to conduct a thorough investigation, but his cabinet, made up of ultra-Orthodox Jewish ministers, never took formal action. Large-scale military operations between Israeli and Palestinian groups in Gaza began in less than two weeks.

Bennett himself is religious, but his broad coalition does not include any extreme orthodox party. In his office, he said Meron was recruiting Jews from “all walks of life”, a reference to religions other than the extreme Orthodox.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who called for an investigation, said the results would be “heavy” and could not be ignored.

The commission of inquiry, headed by a judge, will have a budget of six million shekels ($ 1.8 million), the government said.

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