Police Remove Checkpoints in Meron, Close Traffic After Losing Control


Singing and dancing in the courtyard to the tziyun of the Rashbi in Meron, on Thursday afternoon. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana announced the end of Lag BaOmer events at Mount Meron after a clash between mispallelim and police at the site earlier in the day.

The Transportation Ministry said that in view of the suspension of public transit to Meron, clearing of the site was expected to be completed by 11 p.m. Events were originally set to continue into Friday.

Severe clashes broke out Thursday at the tziyun of Rashbi, after thousands of mispallelim who waited for a long time at checkpoints near the complex confronted the police and tried to break through the checkpoints.

During the clashes, several hundred people managed to enter into the tziyun compound. Police made several arrests, including of a father who was with his young chalakah child.

The police also removed all the checkpoints that were around the tziyun. As of early afternoon hours (local time) the compound was open, without any police presence. Police said Mt. Meron is closed until control of the events is restored to their hands.

Following the complete closure of the mountain by the police, thousands of passengers were stuck in the heavy heat in the parking lots in the Meron area.

The incidents occur after police managed to maintain control for much of Lag BaOmer, by limiting the number of people on the mountain at a given time.

But the heavy heat and the long hours of waiting at repeated checkpoints apparently started to affect the thousands of people at the checkpoints and the parking lots.

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