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Israel: Tel Aviv locals observe national day of mourning over Mount Meron crush

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In Yiddish

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Israeli flags were at half-mast and locals held vigils in Tel Aviv on Sunday as the country observed a national day of mourning for the 45 victims of the Mount Meron stampede.

Cabinet meetings were cancelled and concerts and sports events postponed following Israel's deadliest peacetime disaster.

"It's clear there needs to be an investigation, but now we need to unite the people. The people are divided and devastated, we need love. Of course we will demand an investigation, political discussion and the answers that should be given - but now it's not the time," a local mourner said.

Forty-five people, including children, died in a stampede at a religious festival near Mount Meron, in northern Israel, in the early hours of Friday morning, after a structure collapsed at the festival and several people slipped, causing dozens more to fall as a consequence.

As of Saturday, at least 20 people were in hospital, many in critical or serious condition.

TRANSLATIONS:

SOT, Yair, Mourner (Hebrew): "I think this tragedy touched each and every one of us, Everyone felt that this is a national tragedy. It doesn't matter if you knew the victims or not, everyone felt it was something that affected all of the Israeli public, and that's why we're here, for an evening of togetherness to come and sing and be together.

SOT, Yair, Mourner (Hebrew): "While people are still mourning it's not the time to look for who to blame. It's a time to come together, what happened was a national tragedy. We should unite, as we saw on Friday when people came to donate blood - secular and religious we are all one.

SOT Oshri, Mourner (Hebrew): "45 Israelis, our brothers, have died in a national tragedy. Today is a national day of mourning. The nation needs unity, love and strength"

SOT Oshri, Mourner (Hebrew): "It's clear there needs to be an investigation, but now we need to unite the people. The people are divided and devastated, we need love. Of course we will demand an investigation, political discussion and the answers that should be given - but now it's not the time"

#Israel #MountMeron #Stampede

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Meron Lag B'Omer 5769 (2009)
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