Meron Disaster
Meron DisasterDavid CohenFlash90

Three years after the tragedy, the committee for investigating the Meron disaster has published findings declaring several officials personally responsible for the tragedy.

The Chief of Police responded, saying that he “takes responsibility. I asked to be relieved of my position at the beginning of this year, but because of the war, I was asked to remain on.”

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid lashed out at the Prime Minister, “If Netanyahu were an ordinary citizen, he would stand trial today for negligent homicide and go to jail. He has made all sorts of excuses, and showed cowardice and an escape from responsibility. If Netanyahu remains in office, we are just sitting here waiting for the next disaster to happen, which is only a matter of time. Out of respect for the victims of Meron, Netanyahu should have resigned the day after the disaster. He must go home.”

The Meron Disaster Families Forum, which represents some of the families of the victims, issued a statement, saying, "This is the end of the first step on the road to justice. First and foremost, our thanks go to the members of the committee for their dedicated work in order to do a bit of justice. It is unbelievable that we had to wait almost 3 years to hear the obvious – whoever is responsible for the success of the Meron celebrations, when it succeeds, is also responsible for its failure. A failure that resulted in 45 civilians killed and more than 100 wounded. We now call on the government of Israel, show responsibility, take these conclusions and adopt them. These conclusions have been written in blood."

Yisrael Diskind, brother of Simcha Bunim and spokesman of the Forum, said, “The personal conclusions against those responsible must, first and foremost, interest you, citizens of Israel. It is good enough for us to see that the oversights have been corrected and that we can promise generations to come that such a disaster will never happen again. This disaster will be remembered forever as the disaster that occurred because of the 'careless' and 'trust me' attitude that exists in Israel, which, thanks to the committee's conclusions, will also notoriously reverberate forever."

Shimon Israel Elhadad, who lost two brothers in the disaster, said, "We have been waiting for this report for almost three years, and I hope that today, after so long, Israel will wake up and see what has happened on its own soil. It is time to correct the failures, both in terms of those responsible who failed in their duties and in terms of commemorating those killed and renovating the entire site. Thank God, justice has come to light - better too late than never."