Soldier’s Family Boycotts Torches Ceremony
The family of Hila Betzaleli will not take part in this year’s torch-lighting ceremony on Independence Day, the Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot reports.
Hila Betzaleli, 20, was killed during rehearsals for last year’s Independence Day ceremony when a heavy lighting fixture collapsed.
Her mother Sigalit explained that the family had received a personal invitation to this year’s event, “but I do not plan to go until those responsible for Hila’s death are punished… It’s outrageous that those responsible have still not been punished.”
The lighting fixture collapsed due to strong winds on Mount Herzl. An investigation found that weights meant to stabilize the fixture were far lighter than allowed under safety regulations.
Several other soldiers were wounded in the accident, and some suffered permanent injuries.
Several people were arrested in wake of the disaster, including the two owners of the company that had constructed the stage on which the fixture collapsed and the group’s safety consultant. They were later released to house arrest.
Channel 10 news recently revealed that those responsible for setting up the light fixture that collapsed continue to organize large-scale events. The expose also brought to light new issues tied to the accident, including the fact that those who built the stage were authorized to approve the safety standards that they themselves were using.