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Hundreds of thousands at Meron for Lag Ba'omer

Clashes between visitors to Meron and security forces ahead of mass Lag Ba'omer celebrations; two are arrested.

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 7:42 PM

הילולת ל"ג בעומר במירון
הילולת ל"ג בעומר במירון
צילום: דוברות

Some 500,000 people are expected to arrive Thursday evening at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi) in Meron, in honor of the anniversary of his passing on Lag Ba'omer.

Israel's Health Ministry is concerned that the Lag Ba'omer gatherings will cause a renewed coronavirus outbreak.

A senior official involved in preparing the plan for Lag Ba'omer on Thursday told Kan News that, "Anyone going to Meron needs to know that his blood is on his own head, and that he may be exposed to coronavirus patients who are walking around unsupervised."

On Thursday morning, clashes broke out between civilians who arrived early and security forces busy with preparing the site for the large number of visitors expected Thursday night and Friday. Some of those present called the officers "Nazis." Two of them were arrested on suspicion of disruptions of order and disturbing police officers' operations.

The celebrations at Mount Meron will begin at 8:00 p.m. Thursday night, with the lighting of the first traditional bonfire by the Boyaner Rebbe. Afterwards, several more bonfires will be lit by hasidic rebbes and other rabbis.

Five thousand police officers are expected to secure the gathering, and the number of people at the bonfires will be limited to 10,000 people at any given moment. However, there will not be a limit on the number of people within the town of Meron or at nearby parking lots.

According to the agreed-upon plan, only those who have a Green Passport will be able to enter the bonfire area. However, security forces do not expect to be able to enforce that guideline.