Sunday, February 25, 2018

When Israeli High School Students on a Field Trip Were Killed: The Ma'alot Massacre

Nadene Goldfoot 
                                           The Ma'alot School Massacre in Israel
What happened to these high school students in Israel who were  on an overnight field trip to another city is something that even elementary school students do in Oregon.  In their study of their state, they've taken buses and stayed overnight in another school. These Israelis were doing the same thing. Whoever could imagine that danger would come during the night?  "It is thought that around 100 pupils aged between 14 and 16 were in the school when the Palestinians stormed it in the early hours of this morning as the teenagers slept.
Fifteen people, children and teachers, managed to escape. A teenage boy was later sent out with a list of prisoners the hostage-takers wanted released in Israel."
The Ma'alot massacre was a Palestinian terrorist attack that occurred in May 1974 and involved a two-day hostage-taking of 115 Israeli people which ended in the murders of over 25 hostages. It began when three armed members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) entered Israel from Lebanon. Soon afterwards they attacked a van, killing two Israeli Arab women while injuring a third and entered an apartment building in the town of Ma'alot, where they killed a couple and their four-year-old son.
From there, they headed for the Netiv Meir Elementary School, where they took more than 115 people (including 105 children) hostage on 15 May 1974, in Ma'alot.

Most of the hostages were teenagers from a high school in Safed on a Gadna field trip spending the night in Ma'alot. The hostage-takers soon issued demands for the release of 23 Palestinian militants from Israeli prisons, or else they would kill the students. On the second day of the standoff, a unit of the Golani Brigade stormed the building.                     

During the takeover, the hostage-takers killed children with grenades and automatic weapons. Ultimately, 25 hostages, including 22 children, were killed and 68 more were injured.
Deaths31 Israelis (+ 3 attackers)
Non-fatal injuries
70 Israelis
PerpetratorsDemocratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Guardian in England reported the story in a highly slanted manner. 
A Palestinian Media Watch bulletin on Feb. 28 revealed that a recent Palestinian Authority broadcast paid tribute to the terrorists (from the group, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine) who committed the Ma’alot Massacre in 1974 in which 22 children were brutally murdered inside an elementary school. 
 Pictures of the terrorists, labeled as “martyrs”, with their weapons were seen during the PA broadcast – another act of state sanctioned incitement which will likely go unreported by the mainstream media or the Guardian. 
I moved to Israel in September 1980, and went through a program preparing to teach English as a Foreign language. I already had 22 years of experience as a teacher in the USA. The first thing I noticed was a guard at the door of each school and every store that I had to enter. They checked our purses to make sure we had no weapons. At the junior high where I taught, a student was the guard at the door. They were trained as to what to look for and also knew of all the items that had held concealed bombs or weapons.                                                                    

One of the first pieces of history I learned about my city of Safed was about what had happened to our high school children who were on a field trip.  They had stayed overnight in an elementary school and 22 of them were killed.  I visited the cemetery where you see the headstones above.  Ma'alot lies in the upper Western Galilee formed by the merger of the development town of Maalot in 1957 and the mainly Christian Arab village of Tarshiha.  In 1990 the population was 8,770 of which 3,000 were Arabs.  
The bare bones of the story: In the early-morning hours of May 15, 1974, three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a radical anti-Israel group,(Palestinian terrorists)  snuck across the border from Lebanon. Dressed as Israeli soldiers, they made their way to Ma’alot, where they killed three members of the Cohen family -- apparently chosen at random -- before entering an elementary school that was hosting more than 100 teenagers and teachers from a religious school in Safed for the night
A lot is in my book-an autobiography in the form of all my letters I sent back over the 5 years of living there.  Israel learned from that.  All schools had guards at the doors  after that.  This was unusual in that it wasn't during school hours.  

The school at my junior high where I taught English were well aware of all the small containers that hide bombs which have been found.  That's why we all become knowledgeable about not picking up anything off the sidewalks or any grounds.  A robot can be called to do the work; much safer for all.  

My husband and I also went through training on shooting the A-1 rifle as we had joined the Civil Guard. We didn't have any weapon in the schools we taught in, of course. This was 38 years ago and it's just now-2018-that the USA is confronted with how to keep children safe. Try following Israel's lead. It worked after their horrible experiences in losing children in schools due to crazy violent people. It happened just before I arrived in Safed, as a matter of fact. That's the story above.  

Letters From Israel by Nadene Goldfoot

No comments:

Post a Comment