Demolition of footbridge in Meron where the disaster occurred
Demolition of footbridge in Meron where the disaster occurred Lands Enforcement Authority

The Tzfat (Safed) Magistrate’s Court has ruled that the long-established Hachnassat Orchim (free hospitality kitchen) located under the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is to be demolished.

In doing so, the Court is complying with the request of the Lands Enforcement Authority, which wishes to see the site demolished.

The Hachnassat Orchim, also known as the Carlebach site, is situated in the area of the Toldot Aharon Hassidut and encircles the footbridge where the disaster occurred last Lag b’Omer. The footbridge has since been demolished.

According to the Authority, the site contains structures which were built in a dangerous manner and without the requisite permits, and with serious safety deficits. The demolition will remove dangerous structures both above and beneath ground level, and will significantly expand the Toldot Aharon plaza.

In issuing its ruling, the Court accepted the arguments of the State and established that protecting human lives overrides all other interests both communal and private. The Enforcement Authority intends to carry out the demolition in the near future, and will demand that the owners of the site cover the costs of the demolition and of clearing the site.