Meron Disaster: New Recording Reveal Extent Of Police Failings

Ultra Orthodox Jews look at the scene where fatalities were reported among the thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews during Lag BaOmer festival at Mt. Meron in northern Israel, Friday, April 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

A newly disclosed recording from the day of the Meron disaster published by Kan News on Monday evening revealed the fact that a half hour before the disaster, police officers at the site repeatedly warned their superiors of impending disaster and were met with silence.

According to Kan, the terrible disaster didn’t only occur due to inadequate infrastructure and other safety issues but “it was first and foremost a tactical failure by the Israel Police.”

“If only the senior police officers had responded to the pleas of the officers at the scene who half an hour prior to the disaster recognized the danger and pleaded for reinforcements – maybe 45 men and children would have returned home,” the Kan reporter said.

In the recording, the officers at the site are heard reporting: “Division 41: there’s a huge crowd of people here, we need assistance. Reinforcements should come here to close off the entrance at the bottom because they’re still going down [and up] at the same time.”

At 12:14 a.m., a few minutes after the Toldos Aharon hadlaka, police officers standing at the entrance to Gesher Dov [Divsion 41] realize that a disaster is about to unfold and call for help.

Officer outside Gesher Dov: “It’s very crowded here, there’s pushing, there’s a huge amount of people.”

Three minutes before the disaster begins, the head of the command room realizes the severity of the situation and contacts the Merchav Emekim command room, which is responsible for the hadlakos area and the kever complex. However, the police officer at the site quickly realizes from the responses that the officers aren’t functioning.

“Something is going on at Toldos, some kind of roof collapse or something. We need reinforcements at 41. Where are all the officers, sound asleep? They need to come up here!” the officer screamed on the communication network.

The pleas of the officers at the site are to no avail and their reports were not transferred to the police commanders. Around 12:24 a.m., about 20 minutes before the disaster, police officers at the kever complex also realized the danger of the overcrowding on the Mirpeses Kohanim above Gesher Dov – and they also called for help.

Police officer to command room: “Close the downward entrance. People are trampling each other. Someone should go down and close off the entrance.”

However, the officers in the command room don’t seem to realize the severity of the situation. At 12:48 a.m., people inside Gesher Dov begin to fall one on top of the other. The officer again cries out for reinforcements.

The lack of clarity continues even after the disaster had already occurred and MDA paramedics had begun treating the wounded.

Officer outside Gesher Dov: “There’s pressure from the huge crowd. It’s full of people one on top of the other, small children.”

Command room: “Trying to understand. Is there a report of dozens wounded at 41 or not? We don’t understand the situation.”

Command room: “What is actually going on at your site? What is happening there?”

“Do another in-depth inspect ion, MDA is reporting that people are unconscious, dozens of unconscious people.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The extent of police failings was understood early on. The police, however, refused to take blame.
    Hopefully with Ben Gvir in charge of the police, things will improve.
    #1 on this the list should be to fire the disgraced police chief

  2. Because the wicked Israeli police are too busy beating up a 12 year old girl on רחוב שרי ישראל who lowered her face mask 😷 for a split second to sip some water, and a frum woman on light rail whose face mask 😷 was a bit below her nose and then attacking an innocent frum couple in their 70’s with skunk water

  3. Sure, blame the “police”!
    Never mind the sheer number of fools crowding an area clearly not meant for such numbers. Never mind shoddy and probably illegal construction of the venue! Never mind all the laws that were broken by greedy fools behind this disaster.
    Blame the “police”!

  4. hate is to blame…..liberal element of this society has a block to this amazing group of people who from them alone stems more and more groups……….it is hate……leshon hora

  5. Mr. Kach! GET OFF YWN; Anti-Semites are not welcome!! Keep your nasty comments to yourself and stop spewing extra hatred. There are enough Jew haters out there without you…

  6. @147! Finally! You see the light! How sad this article is! How sad that we think the police give a damn about frum people! Sick sick sick! Tragic and so very sad! I am sick to my stomach.

  7. @reader,
    So, because I call out all the fraud in these “Ortho-fake” “communities”, you know, the same ones who attack Israel at every step and EVERY CHANCE THEY GET, all while leaching off Israeli AND American tax $$$$, I’m an “antisemite” (you can’t even spell it, let alone understand what that means)!?!?

  8. @kach
    How brazen can you be?! Blaming the victims for assuming an event is safe to be at. We shouldn’t necessarily blame the police but how uneducated you have to be to place the blame on the victims is outlandish. And what do these 45 victims have anything to do with leeching money off of people. Disgusting! Go take some time for yourself to heal. Much needed.
    ,sincerely just trying to make the world a better place

  9. @Kach
    I feel sorry for you if you believe an ounce of what you are saying for a second. Israeli police corruption is atrocious (much better than other countries, but still not an excuse). And I am not talking about the cops that risk their lives. The corruption comes from higher-ups that act irresponsibly and recklessly based on discriminatory beliefs. And any jew from any walk of life, from the biggest Mizrachi to the Yerushalmi to the Chiloni can understand this. What was reported here is a fact not an opinion. How they present it here is not as harsh as in the video (if you know Hebrew I would recommend watching it). The cops on the scene did all that was expected of them. It was higher-ups that neglected their responsibilities (not sending back up) that cause the tragic incident. If you have ever been to any event where there are a tremendous amount of people present most are never worried since they trust that the police will regulate the event. I am not saying that here the higher-ups were acting corruptly, since I have no proof of such a statement. Rather the coordinators of the event, the people attending, and the cops a the scene were all doing what they were supposed to. And on from a certain level of negligence on the higher-up’s side, that didn’t respond properly. There is no proof here of CORRUPTION from the coordinators or from the police. Rather negligence from the police department. No laws were broken. The fact is that there weren’t enough cops situated at the location of the incident. This isn’t a blame game.

  10. @hreader. hey Mr whoever you are… you don’t begin to make any sense you remind me of these fat bored “yerushalmis” that shout nazi at an officer giving a parking ticket

    And BTW the police are just as Semitic than you… if you like it or not

  11. And for all u haters against the heros that protect our country… just imagine the security would be charity and the same story would happen… what would be the song?! “OISH IT WAS PURLEY A GEZEIRA MIN HASHAMAIM ITS NOR THERE FAULT…..” which BTW is true , but it’s fun to blame police you guys are just like the blm defend the police movement just in a different version

  12. @chaimberger So your siding with @kach whos spewing nonsense and blaming the 45 victims (including kids) for their own death, wow I’m so proud of where we’re holding 👏 he is crazy for saying that and so are you for siding with him. I’m really not sure how u can say that with a straight face.