Israeli authorities have canceled this year’s festive Lag Ba’Omer celebrations at Mt. Meron due to security concerns.

“In accordance with an assessment of the situation and in coordination with the relevant bodies, it was decided to cancel the festivities on Meron, between the dates of May 24 and 27, 2024, invoking powers stipulated in the Civil Defense Law,” a statement released on Thursday by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced.

Every year more than 200,000 Jews gather at Mt. Meron on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Jewish Omer, to commemorate the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a prominent 2nd-century rabbi. The site is home to his tomb, and the day is marked by prayers, music, dancing, and bonfires.

As per the IDF, Hezbollah has been intensifying its attacks on northern Israel in recent days, firing rockets, anti-tank missiles, and deploying attack drones. One rocket strike in the border town of Shlomi on Thursday caused fires and damage to several homes. In response, IDF fighter jets struck Hezbollah terror infrastructure in the southern Lebanese towns of Kafr Kila and Yaroun.

Earlier in the day, the IDF announced the death of Staff Sgt. Chaim Sabach, 20, of Holon, who was killed by a Hezbollah mortar and missile attack on his unit’s position near Malkiya, along the Lebanese border.

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