Friday 5 September 2008

Newspaper article on Beslan ignores Maalot school massacre

Source: UPJF
Another illuminating example of slipshod journalism and short memories..

A reader of the French daily Directsoir complained that an article (Sept. 3) on the 2004 Beslan school massacre wrongly claimed that it was the first in history involving children being taken hostage and killed by terrorists. In fact, there was a precedent which the article does not mention : the Maalot school massacre perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists thirty years before.

The Beslan school massacre - 2004.

334 dead, including 186 children.

"It was the first day of classes. (...) That all changed when a group of armed Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists took more than 1,200 school children and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania. Little did the children and parents know what the next 56 hours would bring... " Read more here.
The Maalot school massacre - 1974

"The Ma'alot massacre was a school massacre in Ma'alot, Israel, that occurred on May 15, 1974.

On this date, the 26th anniversary of Israeli independence, three Arabs subsequently identified as members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), a faction affiliated with the PLO, broke into the high school in Ma'alot, a community in northern Israel, where a group of 100 14-16 year olds were sleeping on the floor after a day spent hiking.

The Arabs had infiltrated into Israel from Lebanon dressed as Israeli soldiers. They first attacked a van bringing Arab women home from work, killing two women and wounding one. They then infiltrated the town of Ma'alot and took over a local school, immediately killing a security guard, a student, and one other person. Some students managed to escape by jumping out of a window, but 90 or so students and some teachers were held as hostages.

The hostage-takers presented their demands the next morning: release 23 Arab militants from Israeli prisons, or they would kill the students. The deadline was set at 6:00 p.m. the same day.

The Knesset, the Israeli parliament, met in an emergency session, and by 3:00 p.m. a decision was reached to negotiate, but the terrorists refused a request for more time.

At 5:45 p.m., a unit of the elite Golani Brigade stormed the building. The hostage-takers were killed in the assault, along with 20 students and one Israeli soldier. Reports vary as to the exact circumstances of the killings. Some reports say that the hostage-takers detonated their grenades and shot the children. All told, 26 victims were killed and 71 were wounded.

The names of the 21 students who died during the assault: Ilana Turgeman, Rachel Aputa, Yocheved Mazoz, Sarah Ben-Shim'on, Yona Sabag, Yafa Cohen. Shoshana Cohen, Michal Sitrok, Malka Amrosy, Aviva Saada, Yocheved Diyi, Yaakov Levi, Yaakov Kabla, Rina Cohen, Ilana Ne'eman, Sarah Madar, Tamar Dahan, Sarah Soper, Lili Morad, David Madar, Yehudit Madar."

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