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Hundreds of Haredim at a funeral in Jerusalem for one of the victims of the Meron tragedy, April 30, 2021 (Courtesy Olivier Fitoussi)

Mount Meron disaster: National day of mourning in Israel

Sunday was declared a national day of mourning in Israel following the disaster at Mount Meron in which at least 45 people were killed after a stampede broke out at Lag Ba’omer celebrations.

Sunday was declared a national day of mourning in Israel following the disaster at Mount Meron in which at least 45 people were killed on Thursday night after a stampede broke out at the religious bonfire-lighting ceremony for the holiday of Lag Ba’omer.

The proposition to hold a day of mourning was put forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and confirmed Friday by a vote among the government’s ministers held by telephone.

Following the declaration, state flags were lowered to half-mast at the President’s Residence, The Knesset, public buildings, IDF bases and Israeli embassies and consulates. The foreign Ministry will open a condolence book for diplomats in Israel.

Over the course of the weekend, messages of condolence and solidarity from citizens and officials of other countries were received.In the IDF, flags were lowered to half-mast and no special events or ceremonies will be held on Sunday.

The cabinet meeting scheduled for Sunday, at which ministers were to be appointed to the remaining positions, was cancelled due to the day of mourning.

The education system will dedicate the first hour of studies on Sunday to discussing the event and the Knesset will hold a special mourning discussion. Knesset members will be able to light candles at the entrance to the plenum.

In the past, Israel’s government has declared national days of mourning after the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, the deaths of a number of presidents and the assassination of US President John F Kennedy.

Days of mourning were also declared after the helicopter disaster in which 73 IDF soldiers were killed, the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, and a plane crash from Israel to Russia in which 78 passengers and crew were killed.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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