Ministers from the government said on Thursday that they had decided to offer NIS 500,000 ($160,000) as “first relief” to the families of the 45 people who had died in a crush at Lag B’Omer celebrations on Mount Meron in northern Israel the year before.
After the Stampede at Mount Meron, Recriminations in Israel Intensify
The plan to help the victims’ relatives still needs to be approved by the government. Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar issued a joint statement in which they said, “The grief cannot be removed, but we will do all in our power to provide the families with the maximum reaction possible.”
The 45 Jewish families in Israel and the diaspora have experienced a tremendous loss that will never be made up for. They urged that the government take all necessary steps to stop future occurrences of this kind and give the families of the victims financial assistance.
Israeli Jews made up the majority of the victims, but there were also several Americans and other foreign Jews.
The families are first and foremost affected by the “calamity that unfolded in Meron, which is of a national magnitude,” according to Liberman. The financial help strategy we have created is essential, in our opinion.
Despite several reminders that the location was hazardous due to the expected crowd size, a catastrophe took happen at a religious site in Meron in April 2021.
The tragedy occurred on April 30 when a narrow tunnel was swamped by thousands of people attending Lag B’Omer celebrations at the tomb of the wise man Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. Others lost their footing and went down the stairs at the end, crushing those below them to death in a terrible cascade of deaths.
Around 100,000 visitors attended the holiday festivities at Mount Meron, the majority of whom were ultra-Orthodox Jews. In Israel, the rush claimed more lives than any other occurrence during a time of calm.
Lack of crowd management measures and shoddy rampart construction are blamed for the fatal crowding. Regulation and organisation were difficult at Mount Meron since it was a large property managed by numerous different ultra-Orthodox groups.
Political Squabbles and Blame-Games have Impeded Relief Efforts.
Calls for the creation of a formal state commission to look into the situation were rejected by the previous administration, but the present administration has cooperated. The team is currently working diligently.
The investigation’s full report has yet to be completed, but preliminary findings were made public in November.
A Knesset committee earlier this month delayed an opposition proposal for compensation for the family of the victims as a result of Sa’ar’s assertion that the matter should be resolved through government action rather than legislation.
After consulting with Liberman, Sa’ar said he had pressed for a compensation fund as part of a cabinet decision.
A senior police official testified last month that Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai had disregarded his recommendations regarding the oncoming overcrowding of the location.
Back in October, a retired police officer charged Shabtai with causing the deadly stampede.
The Health Ministry’s director-general, Nachman Ash, had previously assured the panel that no government organisation was willing to be in charge of enforcing COVID-19 policies. Thanks for reading our article Recriminations Grow in Israel After Stampede At Mount Meron.