The Fort Worth Press - Thousands join Jewish pilgrimage year after stampede

USD -
AED 3.673029
AFN 71.000265
ALL 92.649577
AMD 388.369638
ANG 1.803234
AOA 850.498008
ARS 890.024802
AUD 1.51159
AWG 1.8025
AZN 1.69797
BAM 1.805659
BBD 2.020191
BDT 117.212059
BGN 1.806935
BHD 0.376813
BIF 2879
BMD 1
BND 1.349398
BOB 6.914157
BRL 5.152501
BSD 1.000586
BTN 83.303836
BWP 13.52075
BYN 3.274431
BYR 19600
BZD 2.016821
CAD 1.36943
CDF 2799.999624
CHF 0.915173
CLF 0.032569
CLP 898.690102
CNY 7.241303
CNH 7.25508
COP 3829.75
CRC 513.03818
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 102.149905
CZK 22.8413
DJF 177.720172
DKK 6.8932
DOP 58.749724
DZD 134.622974
EGP 46.785601
ERN 15
ETB 57.124983
EUR 0.923802
FJD 2.260017
FKP 0.796099
GBP 0.786301
GEL 2.719871
GGP 0.796099
GHS 14.550293
GIP 0.796099
GMD 67.749965
GNF 8600.99987
GTQ 7.774439
GYD 209.330988
HKD 7.80675
HNL 24.760301
HRK 6.979956
HTG 133.324101
HUF 357.719792
IDR 16037.8
ILS 3.67392
IMP 0.796099
INR 83.28915
IQD 1310
IRR 42062.49576
ISK 138.680454
JEP 0.796099
JMD 156.100263
JOD 0.708901
JPY 156.747994
KES 132.000093
KGS 88.020946
KHR 4076.999925
KMF 454.850131
KPW 899.999697
KRW 1366.825047
KWD 0.30699
KYD 0.833856
KZT 443.007298
LAK 21374.999912
LBP 89549.99983
LKR 300.106172
LRD 193.574992
LSL 18.289639
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.83499
MAD 9.91625
MDL 17.679798
MGA 4444.000299
MKD 56.874469
MMK 2101.166956
MNT 3449.999773
MOP 8.044887
MRU 39.729828
MUR 46.159969
MVR 15.450208
MWK 1732.507189
MXN 16.65357
MYR 4.692503
MZN 63.498111
NAD 18.289678
NGN 1432.501353
NIO 36.750194
NOK 10.708403
NPR 133.288095
NZD 1.641015
OMR 0.384794
PAB 1.000609
PEN 3.734033
PGK 3.8415
PHP 58.034942
PKR 278.549802
PLN 3.944686
PYG 7528.043207
QAR 3.64125
RON 4.5963
RSD 108.222031
RUB 90.201968
RWF 1296
SAR 3.750445
SBD 8.500231
SCR 13.806018
SDG 601.000008
SEK 10.736898
SGD 1.349896
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.50094
SOS 570.999926
SRD 32.510249
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.754899
SYP 2512.529855
SZL 18.29016
THB 36.439908
TJS 10.790969
TMT 3.5
TND 3.121503
TOP 2.36205
TRY 32.196201
TTD 6.790443
TWD 32.274503
TZS 2595.000564
UAH 39.809905
UGX 3813.823379
UYU 38.443429
UZS 12739.999865
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.500742
VND 25465
VUV 118.72199
WST 2.803093
XAF 605.601256
XAG 0.032485
XAU 0.00042
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.755851
XOF 603.496475
XPF 110.624981
YER 250.4053
ZAR 18.277499
ZMK 9001.206495
ZMW 26.089887
ZWL 321.999592
  • RBGPF

    -2.2200

    56.28

    -3.94%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0950

    5.42

    -1.75%

  • SCS

    -0.0800

    13.21

    -0.61%

  • RELX

    0.1300

    44.36

    +0.29%

  • CMSC

    0.0100

    24.5

    +0.04%

  • GSK

    1.3200

    45.78

    +2.88%

  • NGG

    -0.7300

    71.99

    -1.01%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    31.36

    -0.35%

  • RIO

    -1.2600

    72.22

    -1.74%

  • VOD

    -0.0200

    9.52

    -0.21%

  • BCC

    -1.4800

    136.85

    -1.08%

  • JRI

    -0.1300

    11.51

    -1.13%

  • BCE

    0.3000

    34.15

    +0.88%

  • AZN

    -0.3800

    78.8

    -0.48%

  • CMSD

    -0.0500

    24.26

    -0.21%

  • BP

    -0.5000

    36.56

    -1.37%

Thousands join Jewish pilgrimage year after stampede
Thousands join Jewish pilgrimage year after stampede / Photo: © AFP

Thousands join Jewish pilgrimage year after stampede

Thousands of Jewish faithful converged on Israel's Mount Meron on Wednesday for an annual pilgrimage, amid tightened safety measures a year after 45 people were crushed to death in a stampede.

Text size:

Police said that more than 10,000 gathered at Mount Meron for the start of the pilgrimage, which runs until Thursday night.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said his government made a "considerable investment" in new safety measures to ensure there is no repeat of last year, which was described as the greatest civilian disaster in Israeli history.

The Mount Meron pilgrimage occurs on the Lag BaOmer holiday, when mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews throng the site of the tomb of revered second century rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

On April 30 last year, a stampede broke out in the male section of the gender-divided site as the size of the crowd turned a narrow passageway into a deadly choke-point.

At least 16 children were among those trampled to death.

Bennett urged worshippers to follow new rules put in place for the event.

Among those is a cap of 16,000 pilgrims allowed at the site at any given moment.

Tickets must also be acquired in advance.

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service said that it is expecting hundreds of thousands of worshippers to gather around Mount Meron.

Hundreds of medical workers will be there "in light of last year's horrible disaster," it added.

Some 8,000 officers will be on hand to maintain order. Police said they were deploying mounted officers, drones and a helicopter to patrol the site.

Police said they would also secure all access roads to the site, as well as the surrounding forest, to prevent unauthorised entries breaking the cap on numbers.

On Tuesday, police said they had seized knives and hammers from an "extremist ultra-Orthodox faction" which allegedly intended to sabotage communications infrastructure at the site.

At the start of the festivities, 45 candles were lit in memory of those who lost their lives in the stampede.

"What happened last year broke my heart, but this year I raise my hat to the organisers," said Shaul Avitan, 72, from Beersheva in southern Israel who said he has attended every year for the past half century.

Last June, the government set up a commission of inquiry to probe last year's disaster but it has yet to report its findings.

In interim recommendations published in November, the commission warned that even after infrastructure improvements at the site, it is still "awash with harmful hazards that endanger the safety of visitors".

According to tradition, Lag BaOmer marks the death of Bar Yochai, one of Judaism's great sages.

A.Nunez--TFWP