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Benjamin Netanyahu said Meron’s stampede was one of the worst disasters in Israel’s history and declared national mourning.

The prime minister visited the site of the tragedy that killed at least 44 people during a religious festival. He promised a “thorough, serious and thorough investigation” to the victims’ families

Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the tragedy (REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun)

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that Meron’s stampede was one of the worst “disasters” in the country’s history and declared a national duel for Sunday. On his visit to the site of the tragedy, he sent a message to the victims’ families and promised a “exhaustive, serious and thorough investigation“To be sure”that such a disaster does not repeat itself”.

“On Sunday, we are going to celebrate a national day of mourning after the Mount Meron disaster, one of the most serious disasters the State of Israel has suffered. We will all unite in the pain of families and pray for the welfare of the wounded”, The president started the speech, which was published on his Twitter account.

He then said that many of those who died have not yet been identified, adding: “I want to avoid spreading rumors on social networks because it is tearing the hearts of families. Let the authorities work. I must also point out that there was a quick rescue operation by the police, the rescue and security forces and we are grateful to them. They avoided a much bigger disaster. “

Finally, he promised “a thorough, serious and thorough investigation“To ensure that” such a disaster does not recur. “” I would like to declare a national day of mourning on Sunday. We are all going to unite with the pain of families and a prayer for the peace of the wounded, “he concluded.

Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to Monte Merón (REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun)

Benjamin Netanyahu on his visit to Monte Merón (REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun)

At least 44 people died and about 150 were injured – about twenty of them seriously – in a human stampede during the massive Jewish celebration of Lag Baomer on Mount Meron in Galilee, in northern Israel, between Thursday night and earlier today, in one of the most tragic incidents in the country’s recent history.

About 100,000 religious – mostly ultra-Orthodox – gathered on the important mountain where this festival was celebrated, marked by songs, dances and bonfires., in the most popular event in the country since the beginning of the coronavirus, which at dawn this Friday caused an avalanche that killed almost fifty people who were crushed to death when trapped in a narrow enclosure.

Medical services, police forces and army soldiers – who sent rescue troops on the ground – spent the entire night treating and evacuating the wounded to hospitals, and managing a chaotic emergency situation due to the large crowd concentration.

A large number of ambulances and helicopters arrived at the scene to transport the wounded to medical centers in northern and central Israel.. About twenty of them remain in critical condition and the number of fatalities may increase.

In the last few hours, the Ministry of Transport sent hundreds of buses and trains so that the religious still congregated in the area could return home. According to digital Israel TimesHe, many men, women and children remained at Monte Merón, with no clear indication of what means of transport to take.

The first images after the stampede

IDENTIFICATION OF VICTIMS

Israeli police opened investigations to find out what happened, while a preliminary investigation determined that the tragedy was caused by an avalanche at the complex of a Hasidic group called Toldot Aharon, according to the public broadcaster Khan.

This morning the police started to identify the victims “and works to find what’s missing”, He said in a statement where he asked family members to provide specific information that could help identify their loved ones.

Moments before the tragedy

“In this difficult time, words cannot offer comfort or describe the magnitude of the pain caused”, Declared the Minister of Defense, Beny Gantz, who expressed his “condolences to families who have lost loved ones”.

Gantz added that the authorities are “fully committed to bug investigation“What could there be,”draw the necessary conclusions and apply them in the future so that this type of tragedy will never be repeated”.

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