U.S. citizens were among those killed in Israeli festival disaster
The US Embassy said, on Saturday, as a result of one of the worst civilian tragedies in the country’s history, that scores of people were killed and wounded in a stampede at a religious festival in Israel.
At the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Festival on the slopes of Mount Meron, conducted overnight between Thursday and friday, at least 45 people were crushed to death and more than 100 wounded.
The precise cause remains uncertain, but testimonies from witnesses and videos shared on social media say that several people fell down stairs from an enclosure filled with hundreds of adorers attempting to get out of the place, as an upsurge of the falling, trampled and asphyxiated people caught up before them.
One witness mentioned the fact that there was a tower of people piling each other up. Among the hurt children were stated by the authorities.
32 of those dead were confirmed by late Friday by the Ministry of Health. In keeping with the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday evening, the recognition process stopped for 24 hours.
By Friday night, more than 20 of the wounded persons were in care. According to Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance service, more than 2,000 Israelis in the world replied to an urgent blood donation appeal.
A spokesperson for the US Embassy said, “We may confirm that many American citizens are among the victims.”
Those were killed and wounded. The U.S. Embathy tried to check if more U.S. people participated and provided all available consular assistance to U.S. citizens impacted, the speaker stated.
The Israeli Foreign Minister said on Friday that the officials of the consulate in New York had contacts with four victims’ families and there was a family of the Israeli embassy in Argentina.
Any of the missing, including an American citizen of 19 years who was in Israel a year away, were named in the US media.
On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed the tragedy killed two Canadians.
Concerns over safe operation
The Minister of Justice said that authorities must consider whether the police brutality had been linked to the accident and that the police had begun investigating the event itself.
For years, the annual function at the tomb of a Jewish wise man from the 2nd century in Galilee had expressed anxiety regarding protection dangers.
In terms of the scale much beyond the corona virus limitations on collections, Anger has accumulated on the government and police for enabling the case to proceed. The festival was packed with about 100,000 people.
Some commentators claimed lawmakers caved to ultra-Orthodox officials, who now ally themselves with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but who have for years flouted the state’s authority.
“Because of its Haredi (ultra-orthodox) allies, the government does not consider such limitations. This year was no different than previous years as far as physical security is concerned. Warnings of a possible catastrophe, particularly those of the Haredi group, have been heard many times before, but practises do not change; “The left-wing analyst of Haaretz, Anshel Pfeffer, wrote.