Flags on public buildings, military bases and diplomatic missions around the world were raised at half-mast. Planned sporting events have been canceled, and the weekly cabinet meeting did not take place, reported the Israeli radio.
During a religious festival with around 100,000 participants on Mount Meron on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer, there was a mass panic on Friday night. 45 strictly religious men and boys died in the crowd.
The identified victims also included two pairs of brothers aged twelve and 14 and twelve and 18. In addition, foreign nationals from the USA, Canada and Argentina are among the dead. According to the rescue workers, around 150 people suffered injuries. The deadly mass panic has been classified as “the worst civil catastrophe in Israeli history”.
President Reuven Rivlin visited the Abu Kabir forensic medicine institute in Tel Aviv on Sunday, where the bodies had been identified. The pain of the relatives was incredible, said Rivlin. “I am with you in your pain. All Israelis are with you in your pain.”