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Israel’s State Comptroller to Open Meron Tragedy Probe
On Mount Meron, the road to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, on April 30, 2021, hours after the stampede that killed 45 pilgrims. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Israel’s State Comptroller to Open Meron Tragedy Probe

Israel’s state comptroller will investigate the crowd crush that killed 45 pilgrims, including 16 children at Mount Meron during the annual Lag b’Omer festival.

“This was a disaster that could have been prevented. Now it is incumbent upon us to evaluate and probe how to prevent another incident like this,” State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman said on Monday.

The investigation will look at the decisions of political leaders, and the work of police and rescuers, he said. The investigation also will look at the management of the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the 2nd century sage whose life is celebrated during the festival.

Tens of thousands of pilgrims visit the gravesite over the course of the festival. There were believed to be some 100,000 visitors, mostly Hasidic Jews, at the site on Thursday night when the crowd crush occurred.

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