A total of 100 worshipers were wounded. Two were severely killed on Sunday evening when a seating arrangement crumpled inside a crowded, incomplete synagogue near Jerusalem that officials stated had not been considered safe for use. At least 600 people were crowded into the temple in Givat Zeev, a West Bank settlement, to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, officials stated. The congregation belongs to the Karlin-Stolin Hasidic group, an ultra-Orthodox branch of Judaism. At least two Israelis were killed. Another 160 people were wounded Sunday night when a grandstand bleacher deflated in an ultra-Orthodox synagogue in the West Bank, marking the second large-scale tragedy in several months, resurfacing questions around deadly negligence in the unofficially independent community.
According to CNN, one local news source reported that a few victims were deemed trapped under the metal structure when it collapsed. Worshippers were attending the temple for Shavuot services that are part of a Jewish holiday. Police reported to The Times of Israel that the building where the services were held was incomplete and not authorized for public use. The accident occurred at the Givat Ze’ev settlement northwest of Jerusalem. It is one of the numerous controversial Israeli settlements that the United Nations and innumerable countries consider illegal under international law. At the same time, the United States and Israel’s government have defended their existence.
Shortly after 7 p.m., a collection of bleachers collapsed under the weight of the people on them. According to Israeli media, the two people hit were a 12-year-old boy as well as a man in his 40s. The more directly injured were treated at the scene as hundreds of emergency personnel gathered on the synagogue. The incident came 16 days after a crush of ultra-Orthodox pilgrims killed 45 people at an overcrowded pilgrimage site in the northern part of Israel.