Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has decided to suspend the criminal investigations into the Meron disaster in April, until the state commission of inquiry completes its probe.
The decision comes after a meeting with the judges leading the state inquiry.
As a result, the probe by the Israel Police and Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department into the crush that killed 45 people will be halted indefinitely.
The new body was tasked by the government with conducting a detailed probe of the disaster and recommending specific changes to the holy site, which hosts a yearly celebration in honor of the second-century sage Shimon Bar Yochai that draws hundreds of thousands and is believed to be the largest single annual Jewish event in the world.
But the commission is also tasked with issuing recommendations for proper policies and regulations for mass events, especially religious ones, beyond Meron.
The state commission of inquiry can subpoena witnesses, though the report and testimony can’t be used as evidence in criminal proceedings, according to the Israel Democracy Institute think tank.