A British man who died in a stampede at a Jewish festival in Israel has been named as Moshe Bergman.

The 24-year-old from Salford, Manchester, had been in the country to train to be a rabbi in Jerusalem. He had been living in the city for two years and had married 18 months ago.

Rabbi Arnold Saunders, a friend of his family, told the Manchester Evening News that Bergman was a “dedicated husband for the last 18 months, a wonderful son, brother and a caring and compassionate young man”.

Rabbi Saunders told the paper: “The family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from family and friends and the authorities. They have accepted that this was a tragic accident and as people of faith accept the will of God. They don’t want to engage in a blame game.”

He added: “They want the facts to be investigated to ensure nothing like this ever happens again, but there is no bitterness.”

It reported that Bergman was buried at a funeral in Jerusalem in the early hours of Sunday. His family have flown to the Israeli capital to mourn with his wife, Shira.

The deadly crush on Friday night at Mount Meron in northern Israel resulted in the deaths of 45 men and boys.

The stampede broke out as tens of thousands of primarily ultra-Orthodox Jews crowded the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai to commemorate the second-century Talmudic sage’s death and mark the Lag Ba’Omer holidays.

The charge in the male section of the gender-divided site is believed to have started as people moved through a narrow passageway.

As well as Bergman there were at least eight other foreign nationals who died, with fatalities from the US, Canada and Argentina. Two young French-Israeli brothers also died.

Defence minister Benny Gantz, also the caretaker justice minister, asked the attorney general to examine whether the current transitional government could launch a state commission of inquiry, Israel’s highest level of investigation, AFP reports.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised a full investigation, and multiple lawmakers have called for a formal commission of inquiry.


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