We remember Ma’alot massacre: School children murdered by Muslim terrorists
Today 45 years ago, on May 15, 1974, which was Israel’s Independence Day, a group of 11th-grade students from Tzfat was on a field trip in northern Israel.
They intended to hike for the day, enjoy the country and its birthday, and then return to Tzfat (Safed) the next day.
That night the children slept in a school in Ma’alot. During the night, three Muslim terrorists who were dressed as IDF soldiers attacked the school.
They murdered the guard and some of the children. While some of the children escaped through a second story window, approximately 102 children were held as hostages.
The next morning, the three Muslim terrorists, Ali Ahmad Hasan al-Atmah, Ziyad Abdar-Rahim Ka’ik, and Muhammad Muslih Salim Dardour, were identified as part of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, DFLP terror group, that split from the PFLP terror group in 1969.
They demanded the release of Muslim terrorists from Israeli prison or they would start murdering the children. They set their deadline for 6:00 pm on the same day.
The Knesset convened an emergency session. Israel had always forbidden negotiating with terrorists, but this was a very hard stand to take with over one hundred children held hostage. They forced an exception and by 3:00 pm they had reached a decision to negotiate. The DFLP declared, however, that there was no time for negotiating – only for giving into their demands.
At 17:25, the commander of the elite Sayeret Matkal special forces group was given the ‘green light’ to storm the building.
At 5:45 pm a Golani unit stormed the building. All of the Muslim terrorists were eliminated during the raid, but only after they took the lives of 22 of the children. The total number of killed was 26 – including several people who were murdered the night before as the terrorists made their way to the school.
The next day Israel Defense Forces planes bombed offices and training bases of the DFLP and PFLP terror groups, eliminating at least 27 Muslim terrorists.
The massacre led to the creation of the Yamam, best counter-terrorism unit in the world.