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Israel Observes Day of Mourning Following Tragedy at Meron
A condolence message and candles for the 45 victims of a stampede during a Jewish mass pilgrimage to Mount Meron commemorating the holiday of Lag b'Omer is projected on a wall of Jerusalem's Old City on April 30, 2021. (Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Israel Observes Day of Mourning Following Tragedy at Meron

Flags were lowered to half staff and sports matches and cultural events were canceled across the country as Israel observed a day of mourning on Sunday in response to the deaths of 45 pilgrims to the Lag b’Omer bonfire festival at Mount Meron in northern Israel. Sunday’s cabinet meeting also was canceled.

The early Friday morning deaths caused by a stampede at the site, where crowds swelled to an estimated 100,000 people, is being called Israel’s worst peacetime tragedy.

Among the dead were several children, including two sets of brothers. The tragedy has left an estimated 70 orphans. There were 10 foreign nationals among those killed, including Americans, Canadians, a British citizen and a man from Argentina.

Most of the victims were buried on Friday and Saturday night. The bodies of a few remaining victims were released on Sunday.

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