Hundreds of haredi women were kicked out of the Elad community center Sunday night after being sprayed down by a fire hose.
Video of the incident shared over social media showed the women gathering in the hall for a Hanukkah event to watch a film made by haredi director Tali Avrahami.
איזה ביזיון. נשים מאלעד הגיעו הלילה למופע חנוכה במתנ"ס העירוני. הכרטיסים נגמרו, נוצר עומס, אחד המארגנים החליט לפזר אותן עם, תחזיקו חזק, זרנוק מים. ביזיון. pic.twitter.com/zaHOA4MTlD— ישראל פריי (@freyisrael1) November 28, 2021
In response to the incident, the Elad Municipality explained that there was a rational reason for what happened: There were too many people, and lives were at stake.
The event was available to residents of the city at a discounted price, according to KAN. However, it also brought in people from neighboring cities, bringing a far larger crowd than what was anticipated.
And this was no mere slight overcrowding. According to the Elad Municipality, young children were being crushed by around 1,500-2,000 women and couldn't move back, KAN reported.
Using the water hose was a way to avert a possible disaster, where overcrowding could lead to a human crush event. A similar event happened last Lag Ba'omer on Mount Meron, where 45 people were killed and over 150 injured.
According to Elad Mayor Israel Porush, the decision was unfortunate but resourceful and was made for the right reasons.
"The pictures don't look good, but it could have been much worse if women had come out of there on stretchers," he told Reshet Bet radio Monday morning.
Despite the shocking video footage, no injuries were reported at the incident.