Netanyahu Says Deadly Stampede at Jewish Pilgrimage Site is One of Israel’s ‘Worst’ Disasters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the site of an overnight stampede during an ultra-Orthodox religious gathering in the northern Israeli town of Meron, on April 30, 2021. (AP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a stampede that killed at least 44 people at a Jewish pilgrimage site on Friday was one of the “worst” disasters in Israel’s history.

The tragedy struck after pilgrims thronged to the site of the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, where mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews mark the Lag BaOmer holiday.

“The Mount Meron disaster is one of the worst to befall the State of Israel,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter, declaring Sunday a national day of mourning.

“What happened here is heartbreaking. There were people crushed to death, including children. Many of those who died have not yet been identified,” he said.

“Our hearts go out to the families (of those who died) and the injured, whom we wish a speedy recovery,” said the Israeli leader.

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SOURCE: France24, AFP