Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Meron injured at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, May 2, 2021

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited people on Sunday at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center who were injured Thursday night in the Mount Meron disaster.

“I was impressed by the marvelous care that they are receiving from the medical staff here just as I was impressed by the rescue operation, which undoubtedly saved lives including those of several patients here,” Netanyahu said.

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“We are praying for their well-being. One of the parents told me the sentence that summarizes everything: ‘Here one reveals that the people of Israel has one heart.’ Our heart is with the injured and all of us hope and pray for their full recovery,” he related.

Israelis are beginning to express their distress and anger over the terrible tragedy that took place on Lag B’Omer night at the sacred tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, also known as the Rashbi.

There are growing questions about the lack of national supervision at the tomb and as many or more calls by Israelis for the state to finally take complete control over the site, which has been the longtime focus of endless tugs of war between non-governmental religious organizations and government bodies.

High Court of Justice Torpedoed Government’s Attempt to Renovate, Secure Mt. Meron Site

Some are demanding an official state inquiry to investigate the disaster, in addition to the three official probes already in place — one by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, another by the Israel Police and one more by the Police Internal Investigations Department of the Justice Ministry.

2 Hours before Meron Tragedy, Holy Places Administrator Warned About Police Incompetence

Attorney Amit Haddad, one of the lawyers representing Netanyahu in the ongoing corruption cases against him, has been retained to represent the families of those who were killed and injured in the disaster. It is not yet clear whether representation by Haddad might constitute a conflict of interest, given his position as Netanyahu’s attorney.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, has promised a “thorough” investigation but has not made his views known on whether or not to establish a state commission of inquiry which could require testimony from politicians as well as others and might lead to the conclusion that politicians, and/or the government were to blame.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.