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PM yet to comment on calls for state commission of inquiry

Netanyahu visits Meron injured in hospital amid questions over government role

At Haifa’s Rambam medical center, PM says casualties receiving ‘marvelous care,’ adds some of them owe their lives to rescue teams

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits a man injured in the Mount Meron disaster, at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, May 2, 2021. (Courtesy)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits a man injured in the Mount Meron disaster, at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center, May 2, 2021. (Courtesy)

Amid growing questions over the lack of state oversight at the Mount Meron compound, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited some of the people injured in a disaster at the site last week that saw 45 people crushed to death during a religious festival.

Israel was observing a national day of mourning on Sunday for the victims, who ranged in age from 9 to 65. Sixteen of over 150 people initially hospitalized remained in the hospital Sunday evening.

At Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, Netanyahu said the casualties were receiving “marvelous care,” and added that some of the people there owed their lives to the rescue efforts by emergency services.

“I was impressed by the marvelous care that they are receiving from the medical staff here, just as I was impressed by the rescue operation, which undoubtedly saved lives, including those of several patients here,” Netanyahu said, as he left the hospital, which has treated some of the most severe cases from the crush.

“We are praying for their well-being. One of the parents told me the sentence that summarizes everything: ‘Here one reveals that the people of Israel has one heart.’ Our heart is with the injured and all of us hope and pray for their full recovery,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu’s comments came amid calls for the state to take full control over the Meron site, and for an official state inquiry to be set up to investigate the disaster. The prime minister has promised a “thorough” investigation, but he has not responded to the calls for a state commission of inquiry that could require testimony from the political echelon and could issue conclusions and recommendations regarding any political culpability.

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