Sunday, 18 Iyar 5773 – 10:55 IL: Tens of thousands of visitors to Meron for Lag B’Omer are stranded, unable to head home as the roadways are simply congested to the point that nothing is moving in either direction. MK (Yahadut HaTorah) Uri Maklev has already announced “There can be no explanation” that can explain away what is taking place as buses heading to Meron are backed up for miles, stuck in a crawl and the roads leading from Meron to return people to their homes are blocked. Maklev calls for holding the officials responsible for the failure personally responsible.
Many aboard buses heading to Meron began davening shachris earlier as they realized traffic was at a standstill. Thousands of others began walking kilometers instead of sitting on buses that are not moving. This created an even more difficult situation on the roadways.
It appears many more motorists decided to come on their own and the allotted parking lots filled to capacity too quickly. At some point, perhaps too late, realizing what was taking place police began diverting private vehicles to Tzfas and arranging for shuttles from Tzfas to Meron.
Fire department officials have begun working to provide potable water due to the heat wave and difficult conditions for the many stranded in buses or waiting for buses to head home. EMS organizations are doing their utmost to assist.
Egged officials confirm that literally hundreds of buses are stuck in traffic jams heading to Meron at this time.
Police estimate over 200,000 people have already arrived in Meron, well within the predicted numbers, yet Israel Police appears to have lost control over the roadways. The existing conditions heading to and from Meron are being described as “catastrophic” by some with no solution in sight.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)