Officials scrutinized as Israel mourns 45 killed at festival

JERUSALEM (AP) — Officials have come under growing scrutiny for ignoring warnings about safety lapses at one of Israel’s most visited holy sites. Meanwhile, the country Sunday is mourning 45 ultra-Orthodox Jews killed in a stampede at a festival there. The disaster at Mount Meron also heated up the debate over the role of the ultra-Orthodox minority in Israel and the refusal of some of its leaders to acknowledge the authority of the state. The festival had drawn some 100,000 people, most of them ultra-Orthodox Jews, after powerful ultra-Orthodox politicians reportedly pressured Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others to lift attendance restrictions.