Eurovision seating to be built by company linked to fatal 2012 accident

Two officials from the company, called ‘Itzuv Bama,’ went to prison over their role in the death of Lt. Hila Bezaleli

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January 21, 2019 16:55
2 minute read.
STADIUM SEATING built in Expo Tel Aviv's Pavilion 2 for the Festigal last year

STADIUM SEATING built in Expo Tel Aviv's Pavilion 2 for the Festigal last year. (photo credit: AMY SPIRO)

 
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The KAN public broadcaster has selected a company involved in the 2012 death of IDF Lt. Hila Bezaleli to build its stadium seating for the 2019 Eurovision in Tel Aviv.

Walla! reported on Sunday that the company Itzuv Bama (Stage Design Group) was chosen by KAN by public tender to construct the seats that will be used at the international competition in May.

Itzuv Bama is the company that was indicted in 2016 for its role in the 2012 death of Bezaleli during a rehearsal for the national Independence Day ceremony on Mount Herzl. She was killed when the lighting scaffolding erected by the company collapsed during a rehearsal a week before the holiday. Three other soldiers were wounded. Eventually, charges against CEO Doron Lavie were dropped, but the company’s vice president and operations manager were sentenced to seven and six months in prison, respectively.

A spokeswoman for KAN said that the company met all its safety criteria.

“The company submitted a tender just for the stadium seating, where the conditions have been tightened, and it is explicitly stated that anyone convicted of criminal activity cannot be part of the tender,” she said. “And those convicted in that terrible tragedy are not part of the team awarded the tender.”

The spokeswoman added that Itzuv Bama “met all the criteria, went through a full and proper tender process and beat out the other competing companies.” She noted that in the past year, the company participated in the Culture and Sport Ministry’s 70th Independence Day celebrations.

A spokesman for Expo Tel Aviv, which is hosting the Eurovision contest in May, said that the decision was made by KAN alone. The spokesman added that most of the events it hosts are designed by external production companies.

The Festigal 2018 – the children’s show which was held throughout November and December – took place in the same pavilion that will host the Eurovision. That show also had stadium seating which held more than 8,000 people, built specifically for the event. According to Itzuv Bama’s Facebook page, the company said it provided the scenery, the LED screens, the effects and “special construction needs” for the Festigal.

Itzuv Bama did not respond to a request for comment by press time. Its Facebook page includes photos from a wide variety of projects it has taken part in over the past couple of years, including the 2017 Maccabiah Games, The Israel Opera’s staging of Salome and the Israeli Ninja Warrior reality TV series.

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