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Daily Israel Report

Visitors: Meron a Disaster Zone

Meron: Tens of thousands wait anxiously for buses in the heat, visitors label coordination at site ‘a catastrophe’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/28/2013, 2:07 PM

Waiting for buses in Meron
Waiting for buses in Meron
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Tens of thousands of people are still waiting to leave Meron after celebrating the holiday of Lag Ba’Omer at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Many are growing anxious as they remain stranded for hours in the heat, with an inadequate supply of drinks.

Due to traffic congestion buses are unable to make their way in and out of the parking lots near the holy site at an adequate rate.

Visitors labeled organization at the site “disgusting” and “a catastrophe.” Speaking to Arutz Sheva, one said, “It’s life-threatening to try to reach Mount Meron like this.”

“We’ve been waiting for hours with no public transportation, and some of the people here don’t have enough to drink,” the visitor continued. “We’re reporting a lot of cases of fainting, and there’s still fear of the worst.”

Hareidi-religious Members of Knesset are working to bring relief for the stranded celebrants. MK Uri Maklev termed the current organizational failure “the mother of all collapses.”

“No explanation could excuse this result,” Maklev said. “This is what advance preparations were for.”

“We will draw conclusions and hold those responsible to account,” he added. Maklev said that MKs are working with a variety of parties, and hope to have a solution for the stranded visitors “soon.”

A second MK agreed, saying, “It can’t be that after so much preparation for this event, we have this kind of anger and frustration, with men, women and children reaching a point of life-threatening danger. I’m working on every level possible to restore order immediately.”

This situation was not the case in previous years, causing those stranded to believe that it was completely avoidable had proper preparations been conducted.