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Police nab armed Haredi extremists who intended to damage Meron infrastructure

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

Police officers guard ahead of the Lag B'omer festival, at the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, in Meron, northern Israel on May 15, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Police officers guard ahead of the Lag B'omer festival, at the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, in Meron, northern Israel on May 15, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

Police officers arrest a group of men and women earlier today suspected of planning to vandalize the facilities constructed for tomorrow night’s Lag B’Omer celebrations on Mount Meron in northern Israel, the police say.

The suspects were in possession of four bags “full of wirecutters, utility knives, hammers, paint, and gloves that are suspected of having been meant to be used to vandalize the electrical system for the communications equipment, loudspeakers and screens that had been set up,” police say.

Police say that some of the suspects belonged to “an extreme Haredi sect,” without specifying which.

“Damage to the facilities — besides threatening the event and causing discomfort to the revelers — is liable to cause a real threat to people at the site if they were to damage the command-and-control infrastructure of the event,” police say in a statement.

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