Maalot, Israel

I was a child living in Israel when the "Maalot Terror attack" took place. It was an event that defined our childhood and our attitude towards our enemies.

On May 15, 1974 a unit of Arab terrorists infiltrated Israel from Lebanon. They entered the home of the Cohen family in the town of Maalot, killing the couple and their four year old son.

The Arabs, members of the PFLP – Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (sic) under the leadership of the terrorist Nayef al-Hawatma took over a school building and held 105 students and ten teachers hostage. They were all from a religious school from the holy city of Safed. This was their annual school trip

The terrorists demanded the release of their terrorist brethren from Israeli prisons. The policy in those days was not to negotiate with terrorists. An Israeli unit stormed the building and killed all the terrorists. Tragically, due to a variety of mistakes, the terrorists stayed alive long enough to murder 22 school children and three adults. An Israeli soldier also was killed. Sixty eight children were injured.

One of the students, Yishai Maimon, is today mayor of Safed. Abu Mazen the terrorist wishes to visit the town, his birth place. Maimon, recalling Abu Mazen's involvement in the terrorist action, said he would block his entrance with his own body, if need be. "I can still hear the cries of my friends, their blood calls out to me from the ground", he said.