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Recriminations begin over deadly crush at a religious festival in Israel

May 2, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.2%. 1 min read.

As the Shabbat drew to a close in Israel, funerals for the victims of Friday's crush at Mount Meron have resumed -- and so have the recriminations over the mountaintop disaster that killed 45 people, including children.

(CNN)As the Shabbat drew to a close in Israel, funerals for the victims of Friday's crush at Mount Meron have resumed -- and so have the recriminations over the mountaintop disaster that killed 45 people, including children.

The somber mood was accompanied by a fierce public debate and accusations over the behavior of key public officials as well as Israel's ultra-Orthodox communities, from which most of the dead and wounded come.

Politically, much of the initial blame for the mountaintop disaster has been focused on Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, whose ministry includes responsibility for the police.

The festival is estimated to have drawn about 100,000 people this year, making it the largest public gathering by far since Israel began emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.

Haaretz journalist Anshel Pfeffer, in an article published Friday, also focused on the power wielded by ultra-Orthodox politicians in Israel, comparing the absence of government control at the Mount Meron site with the failure to enforce coronavirus lockdown restrictions among ultra-Orthodox communities.

In a growing indication that the tolerance many Israelis feel is shown towards the ultra-Orthodox might be slipping, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has spoken out about the abuse it said its female soldiers received as they took part in rescue and recovery efforts at the festival site.

by summa-bot

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