Crush at Israeli religious festival kills 44
In an event where tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews thronged to the Galilee tomb for the annual Lag B'Omer commemorations that include all-night prayer, mystical songs and dance, at least 44 people were crushed to death due to overcrowding.
As per witnesses people were asphyxiated or trampled in a tightly packed passageway. Medics had said that 103 people were injured in the stampede.
On social media there were videos posted that showed chaotic scenes, and bodies on stretchers in a corridor, covered in foil blankets.
According to a police spokesman, the capacity at Mount Meron was the same as last year but this year there were bonfire areas that were partitioned-off as a COVID-19 precaution, which might have created the unexpected choke-points on foot traffic.
Netanyahu said that it was a heavy disaster, and the country was praying for the wellbeing of the casualties.
The White House and European Union offered condolences.