At Mt. Meron, pilgrims are holding a special memorial ceremony for the 45 victims trampled to death last year, lighting candles and reading out their names to somber music, ahead of the lighting of the main Lag B’Omer bonfire.
Reporters at the scene report that order is being maintained, despite expected large crowds and new rules. Some attempting to enter the site with timed tickets are being told they must wait until their ticket is valid, leading to some crowding and confusion at the entrance, Channel 13 news reports.
Inside the compound, crowds are significantly smaller than in years past. Police are allowing 16,000 people to enter on timed tickets for four-hour blocks of time.
“It’s empty inside,” complains one pilgrim, who says he traveled four hours from Jerusalem, but only got 30 seconds inside the tomb site.