Israel Police announced the opening of a new station on Mount Meron, just a few days before the Lag Ba'omer holiday.
The new station's goal is to increase the police's attention to the Meron area and improve its relationship with the public there.
More attention and access to Meron
The station is also meant to make the provision of police services to the huge annual number of visitors to the area, as well as the local residents, more efficient and accessible.
"Meron station was established due to a great desire to provide the best service to millions of visitors to the holy site," Safed Station Commander Chief-Superintendent Itzik Abuhatzera said at the inauguration. "We are people of law, people of truth who are free from special interests and disputes and have only the public good on our mind. The station we are setting up today will give a better response to the visitors of the site and the residents of the sector."
The new station will be commanded by Superintendent Michael Gino and is part of the Safed sector of the Israel Police. The inauguration ceremony was attended by numerous police commanders across Israel's north.
"We gathered here today on the occasion of the opening of the Israel Police station here in the heart of Mount Meron and this is the opportunity to become more significant and more influential for the public that frequents the place," the commander of the Kinneret Region Deputy-Chief Avi Danieli said.
"The tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai on Mount Meron is the second largest in Israel in terms of the number of visitors. I am very proud and excited to stand here before you today and I believe that by implementing this move we will be able to fulfill the vision and mission values of the Israel Police to act out of an obligation to provide personal security and governance to the citizens of the country, its residents and guests in order to improve the quality of their lives while acting in a determined manner to enforce the law," Danieli added.
Authorities have invested heavily in security and organization for the annual Lag Ba’omer pilgrimage to Mount Meron on Monday night, as the families of 45 victims commemorate two years since the deadly 2021 crowd crush.
Hundreds of thousands are expected to come to Meron, but several measures have been put in place to avoid overcrowding and overloading of infrastructure.
Mount Meron is believed to be the site of the tomb of 1st-century Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, which attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, especially during Lag Ba'omer.
Michael Starr contributed to this story.