Yeshiva World News
Following the devastating Meron disaster, many witnesses said that the police had placed a barrier by the exit to Gesher Dov, the narrow passageway where the tragedy occurred, which may have contributed to the development of the disaster.
Other witnesses said that there was no barrier there at the time of the disaster. In addition, Israel Police denied it, saying that a barrier was not erected at the exit to Gesher Dov at any point during the night. “Holding Israel Police responsible for the disaster is not correct,” the police said. “It was an unavoidable event. An incident in which people fell one on top of another on steps is not something we could have controlled.”
However, new videos publicized on Thursday by media adviser Meni Shwartz reveal that at least at certain points of time during that night, a barrier was erected by the police at the end of the “walkway of death.”
In an interview with Channel 20 News on Thursday, Shwartz said that the video, which was taken only about an hour before the disaster occurred, shows the police erecting a barrier at Gesher Dov, which led to almost immediate overcrowding of the area. Although it’s unclear if the barrier was still there when the disaster occurred, it was already apparent at that point that the area was extremely problematic and dangerous. “Why wasn’t the situation dealt with by the police prior to the disaster?” Shwartz asked.
Another video aired on Channel 20 during the interview was taken less than 40 minutes before the disaster and clearly shows terrible overcrowding and chaos, with people entering the area from three different directions and a bottleneck beginning to form. The video shows a situation that is clearly highly dangerous to any untrained eye. “Why didn’t the police intervene at that point?” Shwartz asked again.
Yisrael Diskind of the Forum For Families of the Meron Tragedy, brother of Meron victim Simcha Bunin Diskind, z’l, said that there are three main points that should be noted:
- For some reason there are no videos of the area at the time of the disaster that unequivocally show that there was no barrier there.
2. There shouldn’t have been a barrier there for even one second at any given moment during the event.
3. The police claimed until now that there wasn’t any barrier at any given moment and now it is apparent that that is incorrect.
“It’s so painful for me to say this but the videos that were revealed lead to one conclusion, there were parties responsible for the Meron disaster!” Diskind wrote. “There are people here with blood on their hands, people who must leave their positions and go home!”