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Report: Netanyahu to seek extension of mandate for forming govt in wake of stampede disaster

i24NEWS

clock 2 min read

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the scene of the deadly stampede scene on Mt. Meron, in northern Israel on April 30, 2021.
David Cohen/Flash90Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the scene of the deadly stampede scene on Mt. Meron, in northern Israel on April 30, 2021.

Earlier, Rivlin has said he would be unwilling to grant Netanyahu an extension

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was considering requesting President Reuven Rivlin to extend his mandate to form a government in the wake of the Meron tragedy, the Hebrew-language Channel 12 reported on Friday.

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Netanyahu's mandate for cobbling together a governing coalition expires on Tuesday; Rivlin, who has said earlier that he would be reluctant to grant Netanyahu an extension, is expected to assign the challenging task to Yesh Atid leadr Yair Lapid. 

The disaster struck overnight Friday at the site of the reputed tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a second-century Jewish sage, where mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews mark the Lag BaOmer holiday.

The health ministry put the toll at 45 dead. The Magen David Adom rescue agency said an estimated 150 had been injured.

Netanyahu visited the scene of the tragedy, announcing a national day of mourning on Sunday.

"The Mount Meron disaster in one of the heaviest disasters to befall the state of Israel," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office.

The tragic occurrence came as Israel is emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, owing to a world-beating vaccination rollout, yet remains mired in a coalitional crisis following four inconclusive elections in two years.  

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