More than 160 Israelis are injured and two are killed when West Bank synagogue bleachers collapse

 Two people were killed and more than 160 injured when grandstand seating collapsed at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev. 

The incident occurred in the occupied West Bank outside Jerusalem as hundreds were congregated for the Jewish Shavuot feast on Sunday, an emergency services spokesman told Israeli channel Kan. 

Israel's national medical emergency, disaster, ambulance and blood service, Magen David Adom, revealed the deaths of two people, including a 40-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy.

A 17-year-old boy - Shmulik Bornstein - has also been reported missing, with his family appealing online for information  

It said '167 people were evacuated to hospitals, including five seriously injured'.


Medics evacuate an injured an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man after the collapse of grandstand seating at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev in the occupied West Bank

Medics evacuate an injured an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man after the collapse of grandstand seating at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev in the occupied West Bank

Medics and members of the Israeli security forces evacuate an injured man after the collapse of grandstand seating at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev

Medics and members of the Israeli security forces evacuate an injured man after the collapse of grandstand seating at a synagogue in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev

Wounded evacuated out of synagogue after two died in accident
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Rescue workers were on the scene, treating the injured and taking people to the hospital. The collapse comes weeks after 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews were killed in a stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel.

The Israeli military said in a statement that it dispatched medics and other search and rescue troops to assist at the scene. Army helicopters were airlifting the injured.

Amateur footage showed the collapse Sunday during evening prayers in Givat Zeev, a West Bank settlement just north of Jerusalem. The ultra-Orthodox synagogue was packed with hundreds of people.

Shmulik Bornstein, 17, has been reported missing following the collapse as his family appealed online for information

Shmulik Bornstein, 17, has been reported missing following the collapse as his family appealed online for information

Shavuot is a spring harvest festival that also marks the day in the Jewish calendar on which the Torah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is traditionally marked with all-night Torah study and the consumption of dairy.

Israeli authorities traded blame.

The mayor of Givat Zeev said the building was unfinished and dangerous, and that the police had ignored previous calls to take action. 

But Jerusalem police chief Doron Turgeman said it is the responsibility of local authorities to stop people entering the building.

'The police instructed the local council that the synagogue should not be used. It is the responsibility of a local authority to prevent the entry of worshipers,' he said.

'There are at least two dead in the incident. There was negligence and irresponsible conduct here, there will be arrests.'

Deddi Simhi, head of the Israel Fire and Rescue service, told Israel's Channel 12 that 'this building is not finished. It doesn't even have a permit for occupancy, and therefore let alone holding events in it.'

Television footage from the scene showed the five-story building was incomplete, with exposed concrete, rebar, and wooden boards, and plastic sheeting as windows. 

A sign in Hebrew pasted to a wall of the building warned that 'for safety reasons entrance to the site is forbidden.'

Defense Minister Benny Gantz wrote on Twitter that 'my heart is with the victims of the disaster in Givat Zeev.'

The incident comes just weeks after a stampede that killed 45 people at a Jewish pilgrimage site.

A view inside a synagogue where a grandstand collapsed during a religious celebration in Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank

A view inside a synagogue where a grandstand collapsed during a religious celebration in Givat Zeev, in the occupied West Bank

Rescue workers transport an injured boy to an ambulance outside a synagogue where a grandstand collapsed during a religious celebration in Givat Zeev

Rescue workers transport an injured boy to an ambulance outside a synagogue where a grandstand collapsed during a religious celebration in Givat Zeev

On April 29, a stampede at a religious festival in northern Israel killed 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews, the deadliest civilian disaster in the country's history.

The stampede at Mount Meron came after years of warnings that the holy site was unsafe for the tens of thousands of visitors it draws each year for the Lag Baomer holiday.

This year's festivities were attended by about 100,000 people, most of them ultra-Orthodox Jews, after powerful ultra-Orthodox politicians reportedly pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others to lift attendance restrictions.

Experts had long warned the Mount Meron complex was inadequately equipped to handle the enormous crowds that flock there during the springtime holiday, and that the existing state of infrastructure was a safety risk.

The disaster triggered renewed criticism over the broad autonomy granted to the country's politically powerful ultra-Orthodox minority.

Last year, many ultra-Orthodox communities flouted coronavirus safety restrictions, contributing to high outbreak rates in their communities and angering the broader secular public.

More than 160 Israelis are injured and two are killed when West Bank synagogue bleachers collapse More than 160 Israelis are injured and two are killed when West Bank synagogue bleachers collapse Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:01 Rating: 5

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