Safety Advisor For Meron Resigns: “The Infrastructure Is Unsound”

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The Ohr Rashbi yeshivah building at Meron was demolished on Tuesday. (Lands Enforcement Authority)

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Kfir Malka, who served as the safety advisor for the Meron project headed by project manager Tzviki Tessler, announced his resignation three weeks ago.

According to a Haaretz report on Tuesday morning, Malka resigned after his warnings that the infrastructure on Har Meron and at the tzion itself is unsound and is not safe for the number of people expected on Lag B’Omer.

According to sources in the police and government ministries, Malka also warned that the “decision-making regarding the site on Lag B’Omer is tainted by personal interests and political considerations.”

In response to the report, Avi Blumenthal, the director of the Rashbi celebration information headquarters, said: “Malka is a personal consultant to the project manager and is employed as needed on an hourly basis. He expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the infrastructure on the mountain as it was about two months ago, but since then significant infrastructure work has been carried out. He did not make any statements to the project manager regarding the number of participants, and in any case, all his comments and recommendations were implemented at the site.”

According to the Haaretz report, senior police officials warned that despite the limitation on the number of participants, tens and even hundreds of thousands of people could reach Har Meron by entering from side entrances or presenting forged tickets. In addition, there is no guarantee that participants will comply with the regulations to stay at the site for only four hours.

UTJ MK Meir Porush is also dissatisfied with the state of affairs at Meron and sent a letter of complaint to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday night.

“Those in charge of Meron on Lag B’Omer ignored the public’s requests and needs as well as the interim conclusions of the commission of inquiry set up for that purpose,” Porush wrote. “There’s a feeling that there’s no one who’s willing to take responsibility for the event.”

“During the ten months that the public expected that the infrastructure would be improved, nothing was done. Work only began in the last three months, during which dozens of buildings were demolished, access roads were blocked, and stairs and passage openings were fenced off. They didn’t provide any real solution or expansion of the area or build new access roads. They didn’t even expand one passageway.”

“Throughout the year we hoped that following such a terrible disaster, preparations would take place all year in preparing the area for the safety of the public. Unfortunately, as every year, nothing was done until the last minute.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


8 COMMENTS

  1. Agree with Chaya… They could have shifted their attention to those parts that were dangerous by implementing crowd control measures where necessary…

    But as with everything in this current government, there are too many politically motivated inyanim at hand.

  2. Will you insure the site over Lag Bomer?? No one else will.
    Its a small area unsuited for the hundreds of thousands who descend upon it for a one day celebration that isnt exactly a D’Orysa. There are other holy sites. Making this site safe for so so many at one time may not be feasible, and certainly isnt cost effective. Will the attendees pay? Common sense says to limit number of visitors at one time as is done in ALL places of interest – throughout the world. Lets remember what Lag B’Omer is and isnt. Lets not be so haughty to say that we HAVE to be there at any cost.

  3. Unless the place is 100% safe (it’s nowhere near that number), people should stay away. Venishmartem is Min HaTorah, visiting graves is a minhag. Those who don’t go to kivrei tzadikim have not violated Halacha. A person mustn’t put himself in a Makom Sakana. Going to Rabbi Shimon’s grave on Lag Ba’omer involves a serious risk of Pikuach Nefesh. It’s an aveira to go!!!
    People’s sense of priorities is completely warped!

  4. ‘ keep the police out of it. They are the ones who blocked the exits last time”
    Yup…keep the police out and let these idiots just trample and kill themselves w/o any outside interference. Still an accident waiting to happen,