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Lag Baomer in Meron 2024 may be cancelled due to fear of attacks by Hezbollah

In the coming weeks, Israel’s Homefront Command (Pikud HaOref) aims to come up with a plan for a limited celebration of Meron Lag Baomer or the complete cancellation of the event. The reason is fear of rockets attacks from Hezbollah. There will be a big discussion this week on how to hold the event if the war continues and the Home Front Command hopes to come up with a decision by the middle of March. Meron itself is located about 10 km (6 miles) from the border of Lebanon.

The security establishment is aware of the political pressures that may come from ultra-Orthodox communities to hold the event even on a limited scale. The fear is that even in such a situation of a limited Hilula, tens of thousands of people will still come to Meron, which has been hit by dozens of advanced anti-tank missiles and rockets in recent months. Some of these attacks directly hit the air control base at the top of the mountain.

Security officials estimate that even if there is a ceasefire with Hamas in the coming months (which will also possibly calm things on the northern border with Hezbollah), it will not be possible to guarantee the safety of thousands of people in the open area of the mountain if there is an actual situation of incoming rockets.  The use of hundreds of soldiers and police to secure the event will also be a consideration regarding the final decision. The officials are also taking into account that even at the peak of the Corona epidemic, many people came Meron for Lag Baomer a few days early before the entrance was closed off.

A possibility that will be considered, in case it is decided to cancel the Hilulla, is to issue a military order to close the mountain completely and enforce the ban on the arrival of people. The Home Front Command is also debating about allowing Zayin Adar (Hilula of Moshe Rabbeinu) celebrations next month.

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