Biden contacts Netanyahu to express condolences on the Meron disaster.

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US President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to express his condolences after the Meron disaster, in which at least 45 people died, including four American citizens.

“I have now spoken to President Biden, he called me to express his condolences and sorrow for the tragedy that has taken place here,” Netanyahu said at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he had stopped to donate blood to those wounded.

“The United States stands with the people of Israel, and with Jewish communities around the world, in mourning the terrible tragedy at Mount Meron,” Biden said after the call.

“The loss of life among worshipers practicing their faith is heartbreaking. I have instructed my team to offer our assistance to the government and people of Israel as they respond to the disaster and care for the wounded,” Biden said.

The US is working to confirm reports that Americans were among the dead and wounded and the US embassy and State Department will provide all necessary support to their families, Biden said.

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“The people of the United States and Israel are bound together by our families, our faiths, and our histories, and we will stand with our friends. Our prayers are with those who were injured and all those who lost loved ones. May their memories be a blessing,” Biden said

Netanyahu thanked Biden and the other world leaders who had offered condolences to Israel such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as leader for Europe and the Arab world including Bahrain, the United Emirates.

“In these moments, we are more united than ever,” Netanyahu said.

“I will do everything, the Israeli government will do everything, to help the families of those who perished. We know of your deep sorrow, we know that your world has been destroyed – we will help you to recover in any way we can,” Netanyahu said.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that Israel was working to help bring the relatives of the deceased into the country as soon as possible, when he spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday.

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Blinken tweeted, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy that occurred at Mt. Meron in Israel. We mourn the lives lost, extend our deepest condolences to the families, and pray for the injured to recover quickly.”

Among the US victims was Donny Morris, 19 of Teaneck, New Jersey who was studying in the Shaalvim yeshiva in Jerusalem.


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