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Police beg mourners not to push and shove at Kanievsky funeral: ‘There are children’

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men pray and wait as they gather outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Bnei Brak, ahead of his funeral on March 20, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men pray and wait as they gather outside the home of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky in Bnei Brak, ahead of his funeral on March 20, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

Police at the funeral of Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky are trying to prevent a crush of mourners, with hundreds of thousands of people crammed into the narrow streets of Bnei Brak.

“Don’t move forward, please, stop moving forward,” a police officer says over a loudspeaker in footage broadcast by Channel 12

“I am talking about pikuah nefesh. There are small children and old people. Please stop moving forward,” he says, citing the Jewish concept of the importance of saving a life.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the funeral of the leading ultra-Orthodox rabbi, with some estimates saying that a million mourners could converge on Bnei Brak.

Authorities are concerned that the funeral has the potential to become a mass casualty event, reminiscent of the deadly crush at an ultra-Orthodox festival in the northern town of Meron in 2021 that saw 45 people killed and 150 injured in Israel’s worst-ever civilian disaster.

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