“I would like to declare Sunday as a day of national mourning. Let us all join in the grief of the families and pray for the wellbeing of the injured,” the Israeli prime minister stated.
By United with Israel Staff
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the Mt. Meron disaster Friday, where he was briefed by Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, Israel Police Inspector General Kobi Shabtai and other officials.
Forty-five people were crushed to death Thursday night in the northern Israeli town, where hundreds of thousands were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Lag b’Omer. Dozens more were injured, some critically.
“The Mt. Meron disaster is one of the worst disasters to hit the State of Israel. We grieve for the victims. Our hearts are with the families and with the wounded to whom we wish a full recovery,” the prime minister said.
“There were heartbreaking scenes here. People were crushed to death, including children. Many of the victims have still not been identified and I would like to avoid the dissemination of rumors on social media because this breaks the families’ hearts. Let the authorities work.
“I must also point out that there was quick rescue work here by the police, the rescue and security forces, and we are profoundly grateful to them; they prevented a far worse disaster.
“We will carry out a thorough, serious and in-depth investigation in order to ensure that such a disaster does not recur.
“I would like to declare Sunday as a day of national mourning. Let us all join in the grief of the families and pray for the wellbeing of the injured.”
President Rivlin: A Time ‘to Weep Together’
Meanwhile, the office of President Reuven Rivlin issued a call to anyone looking for lost relatives to be in touch with his office either by calling or on social media. “We will make every effort to find them, working with the relevant authorities,” the message said.
This is a terrible, painful day. A heartbreaking tragedy. Our prayers and thoughts are with those injured and with the families of those killed and missing in the awful tragedy at Har Meron last night,” Rivlin said.
“I send my heartfelt thanks to those working without a break since last night to rescue and give medical treatment. This is the time to embrace the families to help all those looking for their loved ones to take those injured to our hearts. To weep together.”
Outside the President’s Residence, a table has been placed with a memorial candle for each of the victims, which the president lit.
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