Condolences over Meron tragedy pour into Israel from around the world

The UAE and Bahrain were among world leaders expressing sorrow over the terrible tragedy in Meron, where dozens were killed and many wounded Thursday.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Condolences and messages of support poured in from around the world following the tragedy Thursday night in which 45 Israelis were crushed to death during an annual pilgrimage to a holy site in the Galilee.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was “deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy that occurred at Mt. Meron in Israel. We mourn the lives lost, extend our deepest condolences to the families, and pray for the injured to recover quickly.”

“My thoughts are with the people of Israel in the wake of yesterday’s accident at Mount Meron,” tweeted European Council President Charles Michel. “We wish you strength and courage to get through these difficult times.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Devastating scenes at the Lag B’Omer festival in Israel. My thoughts are with the Israeli people and those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s office said King Abdullah of Jordan called “to express his condolences to the State of Israel on behalf of the Jordanian people following the terrible loss of life at Mt. Meron last night.”

Rivlin thanked the monarch and said that “the warm and brave embrace of the State of Israel from around the world at this difficult time is heartwarming and gives us strength.”

Rivlin’s office said the president has also received messages of support and condolence so far from King Felipe of Spain; the presidents of Austria, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland and Serbia; the president of the European Council; the prime ministers of Australia and Sweden; and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Vatican.

During the festivities marking the annual gathering at the grave site of a revered 4th-century rabbi attended by over 100,000 people, overcrowding in one section of the area led to a tragedy when people who slipped and fell caused a domino effect. At least 45 people were killed in the ensuing crush and over 100 more were injured, many of them critically.