Pope Francis
Pope FrancisUri Lenz/POOL/Flash 90

Pope Francis expressed his “closeness” to the people of Israel in the wake of the deadly Lag b’Omer catastrophe at Mount Meron.

“With sadness, I express my closeness to the people of Israel for the incident last Friday on Mount Meron that caused the death of 45 people and numerous injuries,” Francis said during his weekly address on Sunday, Reuters reported.

He said he would remember the victims and the ones who mourn them in his prayers.

Tens of thousands of people gathered at Mount Meron to mark the Lag B’Omer holiday Thursday night when a stampede on a crowded ramp led to the deadliest civilian disaster in Israel’s history.