The American Gazette

Commonsense political and social commentary from "Flyover Country"

Location: Rural Michigan, United States

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Islamist Terrorism part II

Nahariya/Avivim School Bus Attack, 1970
On May 8, 1970 there was a brutal attack on an Israeli school bus by Palestinian terrorists who crossed the Lebanese border.
Avivim, an agricultural community established in 1963, is just metres from the border with Lebanon. Settled and built from the ground up by Moroccan immigrants, the majority of the residents belonged to one of two families; Peretz or Biton. The local council bus picked up children each morning to take them to two schools.
The terrorists knew the schedule of the bus and were able to ambush it. They fired on the bus, killing the adults instantly. The bus driver continued until he himself was shot. Then the bus crashed, injuring many of the remaining children. The attack caused the death of 9 children (aged between six and nine) and 3 adults, and left 19 others crippled for life.
The terrorists were never apprehended.

Lod Airport Massacre, 1972
On May 30, 1972, a three-man hit squad from the Japanese Red Army attacked civilians at the Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel in an operation planned and supported by the General Command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP-GC). Twenty-six people were killed in the massacre and 78 were injured.

Yom Kippur War, 1973
In October 1973, the terrorists were upstaged by the outbreak of war when the forces of Egypt and Syria invaded Israel with a surprise attack on Yom Kippur. The end of the Yom Kippur War was not the end of hostilities between Israel and its neighbors. While formal warfare between opposing armies stopped with the cease-fire in 1973, terrorist attacks increased during the rest of the decade, a few of the most egregious attacks described here.

Kiryat Shmona (or Quirat Shemona), 1974
On April 11, 1974, a team of three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command penetrated the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona from Lebanon. Although they had apparently been instructed to take hostages, they instead entered an apartment building and killed all eighteen residents they found there, including nine children. The terrorists then barricaded themselves in one of the apartments and were eventually killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces.
Ma'alot (or Maalot), 1974

The beautiful northern Israel town of Ma'alot is located in the Western Galilee, 20 km east of Nahariya, and less than an hour's drive from Haifa. Ma'alot was founded in the 1950s when hundreds of thousands of immigrants came to Israel from North Africa, refugees from hostile Arab nations where they were no longer safe. The Israeli Government at that time decided to place new immigrants in development towns such as Ma'alot.

On May 15, 1974 (Israel's Independence Day) a group of 11th grade students from Safed (Tsfat) were on a field trip to the Golan, a full day of hikes. That night, the children were housed at a school in Ma’alot where they slept on the floor. During the night, three Arab terrorists dressed as IDF soldiers attacked the school, killing the guard and some of the children. Some of the children escaped by jumping out of a window on the second floor and the rest were held as hostages.
In the morning the terrorists were identified as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) who had infiltrated from Lebanon. The DFLP is a Marxist-Leninist and formerly pro-Soviet group that split from the Popular Font for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1969. They presented their demands: release Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons, or they will start to kill the children. The deadline was set at 6:00PM the same day.
The Knesset met in emergency session. Although Israel’s policy forbid negotiation with terrorists, the plight of the children forced an exception. By 3:00PM a decision was reached to negotiate, but the terrorists refused a request for more time.
At 5:45PM a unit of the elite Golani brigade stormed the building. All of the terrorists were killed in the assault, but not before they took the lives of 21 children. There were a total of 26 victims, including several people murdered by the terrorists on their way to the school the night before.
In Beirut, eloquent demonstrations honoring the fallen fedayeen as noble martyrs of the cause were ordered by Nayef Hawatmeh, the DFLP leader.

Tel Aviv Savoy Hotel, 1975
On March 5, 1975 eight PLO terrorists arrived in Tel Aviv, coming by sea in a rubber dinghy, and landing without being spotted. They entered the Savoy Hotel and took dozens of hostages including a Dutch boy, 15, two Swiss, a Somali, and several Israelis. The terrorists barricaded themselves in the top floor of the hotel with the hostages.
Azmi Zrayir, a hero of the PLO, and Abu Jihad, one of the founders of "Black September", have been linked to this attack as organizers.
The terrorists demanded the release of their followers from Israeli jails. Israel Defense Forces started a rescue mission in the afternoon. Three IDF soldiers were killed and eight hostages wounded during the operation. At the end of the battle, the terrorists retreated to a room and blew themselves up when the commandos broke in. Seven terrorists were killed and one captured. Eight hostages were murdered and 11 wounded by the terrorists.

Bus Hijacking on Coastal Road, 1978
On March 11, 1978 eleven terrorists, again coming from Lebanon with Zoadic rubber commando dinghies, landed at the beach of Kibbutz Ma’agan Michael. They killed an American photographer and a taxi driver and hijacked a bus, whose passengers, including many children, were on a day-trip to the north. The hijackers forced the driver to return to Tel Aviv. Driving on the coastal highway, the terrorists fired on passing cars from the bus.
When the bus approached a blockade set up by the police at an entrance to Tel Aviv, a shootout took place. The terrorists left the bus and fired missiles. The bus burst into flames and most of the passengers were either burned alive or killed by terrorist gunfire.
The massacre left 35 innocent people dead and 100 injured. The terrorists were identified as belonging to Fatah; nine were killed and two captured.


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