Report: Netanyahu Lawyer to Represent Victims’ Families of Mount Meron Disaster
i24 News – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal defense attorney Amit Hadad will represent the families of the victims of the Mount Meron tragedy, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
According to Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 12, Hadad will also be tasked with coordinating complaints collected through an emergency legal hotline set up on Saturday night.
“Following a request from rabbis and representatives of many families, Amit Hadad will lead the legal campaign for the Meron disaster, demanding public responsibility for the disaster, which many believe was written and known in advance,” a separate report from ultra-Orthodox online publication Kikar HaShabbat said.
But Hadad’s involvement, Channel 12 said, may constitute a conflict of interest, since Netanyahu, as head of the government, could bear ministerial responsibility.
Netanyahu is currently standing trial on a number of graft charges, including bribery and corruption. He denies all allegations of wrongdoing.
In the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning following a Lag B’Omer commemoration on Mount Meron, 45 people were killed and another 150 injured when a human stampede broke out after participants began to slip and fall on the narrow walkway exiting the holy site.
Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews had gathered at Mount Meron for the annual commemorations of 2nd-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Friday night, which ended at around 1 am.
On Saturday, several hundred protesters gathered at Netanyahu’s residence to demand a probe.
Calls for an inquiry by a state commission also come from high-profile officials, including ex-Israel Police chief Moshe Karadi and current Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.