Independence Day Ceremony to be Held as Usual

April 20, 2012  

Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein, Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov who heads the Knesset’s symbols and rituals committee, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat decided on Friday that the central Independence Day ceremony will be held on Mount Herzl as usual. There had been debates about whether to hold the ceremony after the lighting bridge over the Mount Herzl stage collapsed on Wednesday, killing 20-year-old IDF officer Hila Bezaleli.

According to the officials’ decision, the ceremony will be held subject to final approvals by all the relevant factors. Earlier Friday, police announced that all stages in Israel that have been built for Memorial Day and Independence Day events must be checked to determine if any were built or given safety approval by those involved in constructing the Mount Herzl faulty stage.

It was also decided that a dignified and appropriate mention of Bezaleli’s memory will be made during the ceremony. This will be done in coordination with her family.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Jerusalem District Court decided to extend the detention of three men suspected of negligence in the case until Monday. Police had revealed new evidence against several of the suspects.

Bezaleli’s brother, Niv, had harsh words on Friday for the organizers of the ceremony and the company that built the stage that collapsed.

“It’s a real shame because this disaster could have been avoided and my sister was simply killed for nothing,” he said in an interview on Channel 10’s morning program. “It is not killing, it is murder.”

He added, “We always hear of bribery, and again we hear about people who are corrupt, and again we hear about such events because of such people … Money is nothing, it won’t bring back our Hila. We would do anything to bring her back but we know it will not happen.”

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