Police roadblock in Meron
Police roadblock in MeronPolice Spokesperson

Two days after Mount Meron in northern Israel became a closed military zone, the police made it clear on Thursday that if needed, officers will forcefully remove individuals who unlawfully enter the area and there will be a criminal procedure against those who break the law.

Mount Meron traditionally plays host to thousands of revelers who come to celebrate Lag Baomer which falls out this year on Sunday, marking the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai who is buried on the mountain. However, due to the security situation, the IDF decided to ban the celebrations at the site which is located less than 9.5 kilometers from the Lebanese border and has been targeted by Hezbollah missile and drone attacks.

The police announced that starting Thursday afternoon, a large police force would begin operating in the area, including Border Police and Traffic Police officers.

The officers will be deployed on roads leading to the village of Meron and areas around it and will prevent the entry of anyone who is not a resident of the village into the area of the village and the mountain until May 27th.

"The gravesite compound will be closed and the public will not be allowed entry," the police clarified. The police also noted that three traditional bonfire lighting ceremonies will be held with a quorum of ten men who were approved in advance in attendance.

The police are calling on the public not to attempt to reach the village or the gravesite, police roadblocks on the roads leading to the village will not allow unauthorized individuals to pass. In the fields and forests surrounding the village, Border Police officers are deployed with special surveillance equipment and all-terrain vehicles to prevent attempts to reach the site on foot.

The police further noted that unlawfully entering the Meron area constitutes a criminal offense so officers can issue fines to those who break the law.

"We expect the public to listen to the instructions, not to come to the roadblocks, and not to create unnecessary confrontations with police. If needed officers will forcefully remove individuals or vehicles that are in the area illegally and there will be a criminal procedure against those who break the law."