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Dozens break into tomb at Mount Meron

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Haredi worshipers who broke into the Mount Meron compound celebrate in a courtyard on May 19, 2022 (video screenshot)
Haredi worshipers who broke into the Mount Meron compound celebrate in a courtyard on May 19, 2022 (video screenshot)

Dozens of ultra-Orthodox men started tearing down guardrails that had been set up in the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Mount Meron, prompting officials to shut down entry to the entire site, police say.

The police say the barricades that were torn down were there to separate men from women at the holy site and that a number of women and children who were inside at the time needed to be quickly pulled out to avoid being injured.

Video footage from the scene shows the men violently breaking down the metal barriers, kicking them and occasionally throwing pieces of metal.

“Officers rescued the women and children from the memorial and are working to prevent a stampede and a risk to life,” police say.

“At this stage, all bus service to the mountain has been halted. The public is asked not to try to come to the site,” police add.

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