Photo Credit: David Cohen/Flash90
Grand Rabbi of Boyan (Hasidic dynasty) lights the bonfire, during Lag Baomer celebrations, in Meron, on May 18, 2022.

The Lag Ba’Omer celebrations across Israel on Wednesday night ended without significant incidents or injuries, a year after 45 people were crushed to death during the main event on Mount Meron.

Overcrowding and poor infrastructure on Mount Meron generated congestion that led to the crushing and suffocation of 45 people, and the injury of dozens of others during last year’s events, a catastrophe that is considered the greatest civil disaster in Israel’s history.

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Following the tragedy, the government established a task force that redid the infrastructure at the site and established a system in which visitors had to purchase tickets to the various traditional bonfire lighting events and limited the amount of time any visitor could spend at the site.

Accompanied by massive police forces and emergency services, the celebrations on Mount Meron ended without any significant incidents.

In the compound of Rashbi’s tomb, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the main lighting event began with a memorial service for the 45 victims.

About 130,000 revelers arrived at the site, instead of the usual 500,000.

MDA Spokesman Zaki Heller stated Thursday morning that the night of Lag Ba’Omer bonfires across the country passed without any unusual events. One incident was recorded in Rishon Lezion when a Magen David Adom team provided medical treatment to a 15-year-old boy with minor burns as a result of deodorant spray that exploded after it was thrown into the fire.

At Meron, the MDA medics treated patients with minor injuries and dehydration.

The Fire Department said that since Wednesday at noon, it dealt with 1,250 incidents of open-space fires, about 750 of them caused by unattended bonfires.

Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev, who was at Mount Meron during the night and closely followed the events, stated Thursday that “to my delight, we managed together to allow the masses to hold the revelry in peace during the evening and at night, with no casualties and no special events.”

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.