Security Discussions Regarding Meron on Lag BaOmer Amidst Tensions in North

By Hamodia Staff

A view of the masses attending Lag BaOmer celebrations, in Meron in 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Three months before Lag BaOmer, discussions within the Home Front Command are underway to determine the feasibility of holding the annual pilgrimage in Meron amidst the current uncertainties, particularly if the war in the north persists.

Due to tight timelines and pressing preparations, the Home Front Command is expected to recommend a fundamental decision on the matter by mid-March to facilitate preparations for any potential event. This is contingent on the risks associated with the location, situated approximately 10 kilometers along the aerial border with Lebanon.

Security experts acknowledge the political pressures that may arise from some circles to hold the event nevertheless, even with a scaled-down plan. However, concerns persist that even in such a scenario, tens of thousands may still flock to Meron, which has been targeted by advanced missiles and rockets in recent months, some directly hitting the air control unit at the summit.

Security assessors argue that even if a temporary security arrangement is reached with Hezbollah or a ceasefire with Hamas, as part of a prisoner exchange deal, there is no guarantee of the safety of the thousands of people in the open area on Meron, especially in the face of potential emergency sirens.

The use of hundreds of soldiers and police officers to secure the event, during a security-intensive period in the Galilee region, poses a consideration for the final decision. Security officials recall that even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals participated in the hilula in Meron, with some intentionally arriving several days earlier.

One option being explored, in case the traditional hilula is canceled, is to declare a closed military zone on Meron to enforce the ban on the arrival of people.

While the hilula at the kever of the Baba Sali, zt”l, in Netivot, was approved by the IDF, the northern region poses a significantly greater risk, especially against the backdrop of hundreds of thousands gathering in one location.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!