Israel honors the 45 fatalities of the stampede on Mount Meron with a day of national mourning and flags at half-staff.

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source: .nytimes.com

The Israeli Police are investigating the causes of the avalanche that also caused some 150 injuries, of which twelve of them remain hospitalized.

The Israeli flags were flown today at half-mast in the Knesset or Israeli Parliament and in the official residence of the president, Reuven Rivlin, for the 45 people who died in the stampede that occurred during a massive Jewish celebration last Thursday, in what is considered the greatest civil tragedy experienced in Israel.

This Sunday, declared a national day of mourning, he remembers all the deceased, men from the ultra-Orthodox community, who have already been identified and among whom there were ten children under 18 years of age.

The Israeli Police are investigating the causes of the avalanche that also caused some 150 injuries, of which twelve of them remain hospitalized, according to Kan radio.

We will carry out a thorough, serious, and deep investigation to make sure that a tragedy like this never happens again," declared the acting Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, when visiting the scene. He also added that "there were heartbreaking scenes here. People have been crushed to death, children included".

The government canceled a meeting scheduled for the day this Sunday, and concerts and sporting events were postponed.

Around 100,000 ultra-Orthodox gathered on Mount Meron in Galilee in northern Israel on Thursday for the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer, which they celebrate with a traditional pilgrimage around the grave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 2nd-century Talmudist—credited with writing the Zohar, a central work of Jewish mysticism. The celebration, which is not popular with the Jewish community outside of Israel, includes dances and bonfires.

The event was the most massive held in Israel since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Public Security, Amir Ohana, took responsibility, "but not blame", and defended the actions of the security forces during the event.

The facade of the Tel Aviv City Hall and part of the walls of the Old City of occupied Jerusalem were illuminated this Saturday with the colors of the Israeli flag as a sign of mourning and memory of the victims.

Tomorrow, Monday, the Israeli Parliament will hold a special session, and the deputies will light candles at the entrance of the plenary session for a tragedy that shocked the country.

With 45 dead and dozens of people injured, the tragedy is the worst to occur in Israel in peacetime, exceeding the 44 deaths recorded after a fire on Mount Carmel in 2010. The balance of victims includes a dozen children and adolescents and at least ten foreign nationals, including six Americans, one Briton, two Canadians, and one Argentine.