State Commission Of Inquiry Into Meron Disaster Submits Interim Recommendation

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JERUSALEM (JNS) – The State Commission of Inquiry into the Mount Meron disaster that occurred this past spring delivered its interim recommendations on Monday regarding safety preparedness for the next Lag B’Omer celebrations at the site.

Israel’s National Security Council will now lead the effort to process the report into recommendations to the prime minister, according to an official statement.

The commission of inquiry into the April 30 disaster, in which 45 people were killed and 150 injured in a stampede during the Lag B’Omer festival at Mount Meron, began its work on July 4. The panel is headed by retired Chief Justice Miriam Naor.

“A terrible disaster like the one which claimed the lives of 45 Israelis who had come for the celebrations on Mount Meron cannot be allowed to recur. Negligence, failed management and unprofessional appointments cost human lives,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to an official statement.

“We will study the report’s conclusions in-depth, which are designed to ensure that from this year, the celebrations on Mount Meron will be handled completely differently,” he said.

Bennett noted that Lag B’Omer festivities in Meron are “central” for both traditional and religious Jews in Israel, “and we are obligated to allow and help the event to happen, but in a safe manner.”

Israel’s Minister of Religious Minister Matan Kahana and Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev echoed the prime minister’s vow to study the interim conclusions. Kahana promised that next year’s observances “will be completely different from Meron events that have taken place thus far and will take place according to other safety standards. The government of Israel is committed to the safety of its citizens.”

Stressed Barlev: “Past errors must not be repeated.”


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