Terrible scenes and sights are being broadcast in the news, survivors are recounting what they witnessed, and countless people are grieving. Parents were bereft of their children, children were left yesomim, and wives were left almanos. Some of the injured will never completely recover. And many many witnesses to the scene will never forget the unspeakable images they saw.
Could this unprecedented disaster have been prevented? Unfortunately the answer is yes and the possibility of police negligence contributing to the tragedy is high.
More than one person recounted that they saw police block off one end of the passageway to prevent further crowding. The fatal result was that the people inside the passageway were crushed to death.
A statement from the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department (PIID) on Friday said that an investigation into possible police negligence in the disaster will be opened immediately. Police investigators have already been at the site to gather evidence and all videos of the disaster are being reviewed.
“A decision has been made for the PIID to immediately examine whether there are suspicions of criminal police negligence at the tragedy in Meron,” said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in a statement.
The incident was “a colossal failure of the Public Security Ministry and the police,” Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev said.
“It’s not yet time to point fingers until a thorough investigation is carried out of who is responsible for the worst disaster in state history,” said Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was a witness to the scene. “But one thing is clear: The police cannot investigate themselves. It must be an objective investigation.”
One witness from Beit Shemesh recounted incriminating information about the police in a radio interview: “The whole time there were people passing through and everything was going smoothly. Suddenly there was terrible crowding. I looked up and saw five police officers who were simply standing there and stopping people from passing. People begged, cried, screamed that they’re going to die, that they can’t breathe, but they didn’t open the passageway. Children were fainting in their parents’ arms. When the police finally allowed people through, everyone collapsed one on top of the other.”
Jerusalem Mayor Yossi Deitsch also blamed the police: “The police saw the crowding but didn’t take appropriate action to relieve it. Instead of opening an exit way, they threatened them with pepper spray.”
“I turned to a police officer and warned him that people were going to die. I told him: ‘You’re not ashamed? You see that people are going to die!’ But there was no one to talk to,” Deitsch asserted.
[MERON VICTIMS: 24 Bochurim And Boys, 4 Mir Talmidim, At Least 6 US Citizens, 2 Canadians]
[HEARTBREAKING: List Of Niftarim R”L Killed In Meron Crush Released]
[How Exactly Did The Terrible Disaster At Meron Occur?]
[Father’s Heartrending Hesped For His Son: “You’re Now In Rebbe Shimon’s Yeshiva”]
[WATCH: 10-Yr.-Old Meron Survivor: “I Cried Out Shema Yisrael”]
[“People Were Crushed To Death Before My Eyes” – Survivors Of The Harrowing Scenes Talk]
[Chareidi Reporter Warned Of This Very Tragedy In 2018!]
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)
The police were trying to prevent what happened on the ramp from happening inside the event, where the crowd was trying to get to. They prevented a much greater loss of life.
Only a crazy or evil person would blame the police. Quite simply there were far too many people on such a small site – all the police in the world wouldn’t have helped, you simple can’t manage crowds of that size.
I went 15 years ago, the crowds were smaller than today, and I still feared for my personal safety due to the overcrowding
That’s the Israeli police and that’s Zionism – hardened hearts. They learn this as soldiers when mistreating the Arabs.
A decision has been made for the PIID to immediately examine whether there are suspicions of criminal police negligence at the tragedy in Meron,” said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in a statement It is too tragic for words that השם resorted to this method to tie up madelblit to keep mandelblit too occupied now for the foreseeable future to have time to go after innocent Netanyohu.
Hashem wanted this to happen. Period. But yes, the Israeli police we the ones who Hashem chose to cause this tragedy. No irony here
A fish stinks from the head. This didn’t start today, this blatant ANTI DAT sentiment was emboldened by Corona. The cops were disgusting to the chareidim (do you remember the animal who ticketed a 10 year old girl for drinking while walking her sibling on a blistering hot day? ) while in Tel Aviv people partied away. This is the result of all the MKs that are chareidi enjoying their photo ops but not standing up for the people who voted them in. Back in Corona days we saw the horror of the way our fellow Jews treated us chareidim. The silence was deafening. Then in the past few weeks the cops allowed arabs to beat the daylights out of chareidim. Where was the outcry? Was Bibi too busy trying to get his cabinet together with his chareidi cohorts? Where the Chareidi cohorts so busy trying to get their pictures taken that they completely neglected us constituents? YOU the MKs, Bibi, the Police Chief have blood on your hands. You heads are the ones that stink. The stupid cops who blocked the passage way were emboldened by your silence in the last year and a half.
There is a belief among some frum Israelis that the Israeli police are a lot like Nazis. (I think this is ridiculous and wrong, but that is not my point here.) I would guess that this belief has a chilling effect on the readiness of police to enforce rules – including safety rules – against frum crowds. That may be a contributor to this tragedy, but who is at fault? The police who held back in carrying out their duty, or the Israelis who compare the Israeli police to Nazis?
While we certainly must do our Histadlus and finding out what went wrong, but for such a tragedy to happen at the holy Kever of Rabbi Shimon, on the Holy day of Lag Beomer with the attendance of tens of thousands holy Yidden, after we barely finished the crushing Gezeroh of Coronah certainly demands great Teshuvoh and introspection much more than a police investigation.
Perhaps we should stop people from denying Corona. That is also wrong. Hashem sent Corona. We denied it so now Hashem sends us this. let’s get the message and may HAshem stop sending us tzaros and send Moshiach speedily!
@chareidi amiti, Leyzer, and the rest – Please see RaMBa”M Hilchos Ta’anis (1:1-3).
This was a crowd disaster and not a stampede(which connotes a scene of wild cattle running)
Please refrain from using the term stampede
We should adopt this word for talking about this tragedy and, G-d forbid, similar events
The person who related this to the corona mentality is right…a general feeling of superiority, made legitimate by a stupid Corona “Tzar” mentality, probably led police to adopt that unwarranted attitude…When the government, which has been for a while curtailing freedoms, gives too much power to certain people they become intoxicated with power and strut and push their weight around.