The Queen pens heartfelt message to Israel after dozens are killed in stampede

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  • The Queen has penned a heartfelt message of condolence to the President of Israel after dozens of people were killed in a stampede at an Orthodox Jewish festival.


    Her Majesty expressed her sadness over the incident, which so far has seen 45 people confirmed dead, although this number is expected to rise, and 150 people injured.

    In a letter to President Reuven Rivlin, the monarch wrote, ‘I was deeply saddened by news of the disaster at the Lag B’Omer festival in Meron, Israel.

    ‘My thoughts are with all those who have been injured, and the friends and families of those who lost their lives. They have my deepest sympathies.

    ‘Elizabeth R’.

    The incident occurred during celebrations of Lag BaOmer at Mount Meron, the first mass religious gathering held in Israel after coronavirus restrictions were lifted in the country.

    Crowds of around 100,000 are estimated to have visited the event.

    According to witnesses, people became trapped in an overcrowded, narrow passageway.

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    The country’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has promised an inquiry will take place into the tragedy, after calling it ‘one of the worst disasters that has befallen the state of Israel’.

    The Queen’s touching letter comes amid her own period of mourning following the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9.

    Prince Philip was 99 when he passed away ‘peacefully’, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace at the time.

    It read, ‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

    ‘His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’

    Prince Philip was laid to rest at St George’s Chapel on April 17, with only 30 guests allowed to attend the service due to coronavirus restrictions.

    Those in attendance included The Queen plus her and Philip’s four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.