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Deadly Crushing of Crowds in Israel: What We Know So Far | Israel

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Dozens of people have died in a crowd at an ultra-Orthodox religious festival in northern Israel attended by tens of thousands of people.

This is what we know so far

  • Of the 103 people injured in the massacre, at least 28 have diedaccording to a spokesman for the Magen David Adom ambulance rescue service. Channel 12 TV put the death toll at 38.

  • Ultra-Orthodox men climbed through gaps in broken corrugated iron sheets to escape infatuation, while the police and paramedics tried to reach the wounded.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “a serious disaster” and said “We are all praying for the recovery of the injured. I ask to strengthen the rescue forces operating in the area. “

  • The gathering was held to celebrate Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday honoring Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second century sage and mystic who is buried at the foot of Mount Meron. The Bar Yochai tomb is considered one of the holiest places in Israel.

  • Israel has lifted most of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions and the festival was held legally. But the authorities had authorized 10,000 people to attend the meeting at the tomb and believe that, in fact, there were 30,000 pilgrims who had traveled to Meron in rented buses from all over Israel.

  • The festival was the largest public gathering during the coronavirus pandemic and 5,000 police officers had been deployed to secure the event.

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