As names and pictures of the victims from the Mount Meron tragedy emerged on Friday, and some families rushed to bury their dead before the start of the Sabbath, others were still frantically trying to establish whether their loved ones were among the victims.
By early afternoon, at least 35 of the 45 confirmed victims of the tragedy had been identified and their families informed. But the identification process was ongoing, and the task of naming all the victims and informing all the families was expected to be protracted.
Officials said they were conducting multiple checks to ensure that there would be no mistakes. By Friday evening only 12 bodies had been released to their families for burial.
At least two families lost multiple children.
Some families learned of their loved ones’ deaths on WhatsApp, according to Channel 12 news, which cited an unnamed woman who learned of her 33-year-old brother’s death in a group about efforts to locate the missing. She told the network she had not yet been contacted by any official source.
Among the victims were people whose families live overseas, further complicating the process. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said four of the victims held US citizenship and one was from Argentina.
24-year-old Menahem Zeckbach of Modiin Illit was buried on Friday afternoon in his hometown of Bnei Brak. He is survived by his pregnant wife and their 1-year-old child.
23-year-old Simcha Diskind of Beit Shemesh was buried on Friday in Haifa. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
Rabbi Shraga Gestetner of Montreal came to Israel specifically for the Lag B’Omer celebrations. He was to be buried in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon but with no immediate family present in Israel to attend the funeral.
38-year-old Shimon Matalon of Beitar Illit is survived by his eleven children.
33-year-old David Krauss from the city of Beit Shemesh is survived by nine children.
Haim Rock, 19, was from the central city of Beit Shemesh.
24-year-old Yisrael Anakvah from Beit Shemesh is survived by his two children.
Eliyahu Cohen, 16, was from Beiter Illit.
Hanoch Slod, 52, was from Ashdod.
Elazar Mordechai Goldberg
Elazar Mordechai Goldberg, 37, of Beitar Illit is survived by his four children.
Moshe Ben Shalom
20-year-old Moshe Ben Shalom was from Bnei Brak.
Yedidya Fogel from Jerusalem studied in a yeshiva in the central city of Ramat Gan.
Rabbi Yonatan Hebroni was a father-of-three from the city of Givat Shmuel.
Moshe Mordechai Alhadad, 12, and Yosef David Alhad, 18, were residents of Jerusalem.
Moshe Natan Neta Englander, 14, and Yehoshua Englander, 9, were from Jerusalem.
Haim Seler, 24, of Jerusalem is survived by his wife and 2-week-old daughter.
Yehuda Leib Rubin
Yehuda Leib Rubin, 27, was from Beit Shemesh.
Shmuel Zvi Klagsbald
Shmuel Zvi Klagsbald, 43, is survived by eight children.
Yaakov Elhanan Strikovsky
Yaakov Elhanan Strikovsky, 20, was from Elad.
Daniel (Donny) Morris
Donny Morris, 19, from Teaneck, New Jersey. Donny had been attending the event with a group from the Shaalvim Yeshiva where he was a student.
Israel Alnaqua, 24, was from Beit Shemesh. He is survived by two children.
Moshe Levy was 14-years-old.
Nahman Kirshbaum, 15, was from Beit Shemesh.
Ariel Tzadik was 54-years-old.
Rabbi Eliezer Zvi Yosef
Rabbi Eliezer Zvi Yosef, 26, was a father of four from the United States.
Abraham Daniel Amnon
Abraham Daniel Amnon, 21, was an Argentine studying at a yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Victims of the Mount Meron tragedy named – The Times of Israel