May 14, 2021

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Israel sets up “National Day of Mourning” to mourn the victims of the stampede

Israel stampede

After a stampede on Mount Meron in Israel, security forces surrounded the remains of the dead. (AFP)

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement on Friday (April 30) announcing that May 2 will be set up as a “National Day of Mourning” to mourn the victims of the Mount Meron stampede.

During the day of mourning, all public buildings, defense forces bases and foreign agencies throughout Israel will fly at half-mast to mourn the victims.

A religious bonfire festival celebration event in Mount Meron in northern Israel was severely stamped on the early morning of the 30th. At that time, about 100,000 Jews were gathering near the tomb of the second-century sage Rabbijohai in Mount Meron to participate in the annual Jewish festival “Bonfire Festival”.

According to the Israeli media citing news from the country’s emergency organization “Red David Adom”, the accident has caused at least 45 deaths and 150 injuries, and some of the injured are in critical condition.

Xinhua News Agency reported that the Israeli rescue agency dispatched six helicopters to transport the injured and set up a temporary hospital at the scene. In addition, the Israel Defense Forces also sent rescue teams, and the police have blocked the roads near the incident and launched an investigation.

When Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu visited the scene of the incident, he said that the stampede was “heartbreaking” and the government would conduct a “thorough, serious and in-depth investigation” to ensure that similar disasters do not occur again.

According to reports, the gathering event at Mount Meilong from the evening of the 29th to the early morning of the 30th was the first legally held large-scale religious gathering since Israel cancelled almost all restrictive measures related to the coronavirus epidemic. Earlier, the Israeli Ministry of Health had urged people not to go to Mount Meron to celebrate during the festival, citing the risk of large-scale coronavirus infections.

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