Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu blesses MDA staff
Tzfat Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu blesses MDA staffCourtesy of Magen David Adom

As is perhaps unsurprising given that over half-a-million Jews visited Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's (Rashbi) grave in Meron on Wednesday night for Lag B'Omer amid huge bonfires, over 170 people were wounded and treated by Magen David Adom (MDA) medical teams at the site.

Hundreds of MDA paramedics, medics, doctors and volunteers were deployed in Meron, where they treated people suffering physical wounds inflicted by the crowding, dehydration, over-consumption of alcohol and other issues.

Before the festivities began on Wednesday, Arutz Sheva spoke with Yonatan Yagadovsky, director of the MDA's international department, about preparations for the event.

Of the 170 treated in Meron, 15 required further medical treatment and were evacuated by ambulance to the Ziv Hospital in Tzfat (Safed); all were classified as suffering from light wounds.

Ahead of the celebrations, MDA established two clinics at the site to be able to provide for the medical needs of so many visitors.

Emergency care ambulances were also placed at the site, and treatment centers were set up, as well as other means to monitor and provide treatment - even including an MDA helicopter which stood in preparation.

"Over the last day, MDA crews treated hundreds of people who were hurt throughout the country as a result of Lag B'Omer events," said MDA Director General Eli Bin.

"The advanced preparations and full cooperation with the Internal Security Ministry, Israel Police, IDF, firefighters, authority for holy sites, and the high MDA preparation proved itself as particularly efficient, and we succeeded in treating, in a short time period and in a professional and effective manner, around 170 people at the Rashbi celebrations in Meron," he added.