Families of Meron victims to receive NIS 500,000 in compensation

The compensation will be offset by any payment the families will receive from legal proceedings.

RESCUE TEAMS begin work at the scene of the Lag Ba’omer mass fatality on Mount Meron on April 30. (photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)
RESCUE TEAMS begin work at the scene of the Lag Ba’omer mass fatality on Mount Meron on April 30.
(photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

The families of the 45 victims of last year’s Meron disaster will receive an initial payment of NIS 500,000 per family pending government approval, Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Thursday.

The payment will be offset by any additional payment the families will receive from legal proceedings, the ministers said.

“The disaster was under the responsibility of the State of Israel, and the government is doing well by taking responsibility and compensating the families of the victims as is proper,” the forum of Meron disaster victims’ families said in response.

The forum thanked MK Yaakov Asher (Shas), Sa’ar and Liberman for advancing the issue.

The announcement came as the state commission of inquiry continues to investigate the disaster, in which 45 men and boys were crushed to death in a narrow corridor after a Lag Ba’omer celebration on April 30.

 SORTING DEBRIS in the aftermath of the Mount Meron disaster. (credit: AMIR LEVY) SORTING DEBRIS in the aftermath of the Mount Meron disaster. (credit: AMIR LEVY)

A senior police commander told the commission on January 9 that Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Kobi Shabtai dismissed concerns about overcrowding ahead of the disaster.

Virtually everyone who has testified to the commission has said the writing was on the wall in terms of the dangerous mix of too many attendees and too few safety measures, together with poor structural engineering at the site.