30 April 2021 by Grace Namiji
At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of Israel.
Many more were injured at the Lag B’Omer festival, which takes place annually at the foot of Mount Meron.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a “heavy disaster” and said he was praying for the casualties.
Thousands of Orthodox Jews attended the festival, making it the largest event in Israel since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The Police said it started after some attendees slipped on steps, which caused dozens more to fall.
The country’s successful vaccination programme has allowed it to lift many restrictions, but health officials had still warned of the risk of Covid-19.