At least 44 people have been killed in a crush at a crowded religious festival in the north-east of Israel, the BBC reports.
Dozens more were injured at the Lag B’Omer festival, which takes place annually at the foot of Mount Meron.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a “heavy disaster” and said he was praying for the casualties.
Tens of thousands of Orthodox Jews attended the festival, making it the largest event in Israel since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The country’s successful vaccination programme has allowed it to lift many restrictions, but health officials had still warned of the risk of Covid-19 prior to the event.
Early reports suggested a structure at the site had collapsed, but emergency officials later said a crush had occurred at around 01:00 local time (22:00 GMT Thursday).