Home / World / Israeli police admits condemnation of fatal stampede: report

Israeli police admits condemnation of fatal stampede: report



An Israeli police officer who oversees security preparations for the massive religious celebration, which killed 45 people in frenzy on Friday, said he was responsible for the disaster, according to reports.

“I have overall responsibility, for better or for worse, and ready for any investigation,” Northern District Commissioner Shimon Lavi told reporters hours after the tragedy, the Times of Israel reported.

Witnesses accused police of blocking a major exit path at the bottom of a narrow corridor that had been seen as a potentially dangerous bottleneck for years, but Lavi said the exact cause of the tragedy was under investigation.

The early indications were that the deaths occurred when large numbers of people, mostly ultra-orthodox men, moved through an inclined corridor on the path out of the Mount Meron facility during the festival. Annual Lag Ba̵

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Commander Shimon Lavi reportedly said he had a bear.
Commander Shimon Lavi reportedly said he had “collective responsibility” for the tragedy.
Wikimedia

People began their journey and fell apart, creating a disastrous domino effect.

Police periodically blocked the stairs at the bottom of the corridor, according to the Times of Israel, citing the Channel 12 report.

Mourners gathered around the body of Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg, who died during the Lag BaOmer celebrations.
Mourners round the body of Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg, who died during the Lag Ba’omer celebrations.
AP / Ariel Schalit

There are “on-going complex efforts to gather evidence to get the truth,” Lavi said, adding that police saved lives during the panic pushing crowds to help people.

Israel Times reported that police temporarily blocked the steps at the bottom of the corridor during the panic.
Israel Times reported that police temporarily blocked the steps at the bottom of the corridor during the panic.
AP / Sebastian Scheiner

Health chief Sharon Alroy-Pris, who had warned earlier this week that a massive demonstration in the area could trigger the COVID-19 epidemic, told the military radio station the tragedy. It can be avoided if the police enforce restrictions on the number of people allowed to participate.

Mourners gathered for the funeral of Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg, who died during the Lag BaOmer celebration at Mt. Meron in Israel.
Mourners gathered for the funeral of Rabbi Eliezer Goldberg, who died during the Lag Ba’omer celebration at Mt. Meron in Israel.
AP / Ariel Schalit

“It is impossible to reach an agreement on who enforces the regulations at Mount Meron,” she said. “Let me remind you that the number of people allowed to gather outside is limited to 100 – it is a matter of fact. The police are responsible for the enforcement of the laws of the State of Israel. “

Israeli lifeguards and rescuers carry the injured Ultra Orthodox Jews during the La Baomer Festival in Mt. Meron, northern Israel.
Israeli security personnel and rescuers carry the wounded Jews during the Drag Baumur festival in Mt. Meron, northern Israel.
AP

Meanwhile, President Biden said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express his condolences and said the United States was ready to help.

In a statement, he said the United States was working to confirm reports that Americans could have been killed or injured in the stampede.

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