The police force’s Northern District Commander Shimon Lavi, who oversaw the security arrangements at Meron, says he takes responsibility for the disaster that killed 44 people.
“I bear overall responsibility, for better or worse, and am ready for any investigation,” he tells reporters following the deadly stampede.
But he stresses that the cause of the disaster is still unclear. Some eyewitnesses have accused police of blocking a key exit.
There is an ongoing “complicated effort to gather evidence to reach the truth,” he says.
He also says that police officers saved lives during the stampede, pushing through the crowds to rescue those trapped.