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Deri: Government must assume full control over Mount Meron

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri urges the government to assert full control over Mount Meron, following last week’s devastating crush at the haphazardly run holy site.

Speaking at a Knesset memorial for the 45 victims, Deri says: “I was silent for several days until the funerals ended. This terrible tragedy is a decree from heaven, but this does not absolve us from a thorough examination and investigation to ensure that no additional tragedies like this occur.”

“It’s time to deal with the root [of the problem], to take responsibility, to offer sizable funding and build infrastructure at the site, as is fitting for a holy site,” says Deri.

Deri, who is the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, also rebuffs criticism after it emerged that he pushed for the Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to go ahead without COVID-19 restrictions. He says the discussions preceding the event were about the health risks of the gathering, which he dismissed, rather than general overcrowding.

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