Thursday, 11 March 2010, marked the 32nd anniversary of the single most deadly terrorist attack carried out in Israel.

 32nd anniversary of the coastal massacre


PMW: PA leaders at Mughrabi birthday celebration, Dec 2009

(Communicated by the GPO)

During the Jewish Sabbath, March 11, 1978, twelve members (ten men, two women) of a Palestinian terrorist cell led by female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi landed on a beach near Ma’agan Michael, north of Tel Aviv, having departed from Lebanon with a stash of Kalashnikov rifles, RPG light mortars and high explosives. They walked less than a mile up to the four-lane highway, where they began a murderous rampage, opening fire at passing vehicles before hijacking a bus en route to Haifa. They murdered American photo-journalist Gail Rubin, who was taking nature photographs nearby.

The terrorists continued to fire and throw grenades at passing cars, while shooting at the passengers, and dumping at least one body out of the bus. At one point they commandeered another bus, and forced the passengers from the first bus to board the second one.

The bus was finally stopped by a police roadblock.

 32nd anniversary of the coastal massacre

Remains of hijacked bus

Thirty-eight civilians were murdered in the attack, thirteen of them children, and seventy-one were wounded.

Time Magazine: 20th March 1978:

"… Slipping ashore from the Mediterranean on the afternoon of the Sabbath, the terrorists hijacked two buses filled with tourists and sightseers, took them on a wild ride down the road toward Tel Aviv, shooting along the way at everyone in sight, and finally destroyed one bus in an orgy of fire and death.
"Official statistics put the dead at 37 (all but a few of them civilians, among them at least 10 children) and 76 wounded – a toll that exceeded the 1972 Munich massacre (11 dead) and the slaughter at a Ma’alot school in 1974 (26). It was the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history."

Terrorist glorification

While today’s inauguration of a main square in Ramallah in the name of female terrorist Dalal Mughrabi was cancelled, there have been several instances of glorification of this terrorist atrocity. A Hebron girls’ school was briefly named in honor of Mughrabi but the name was changed after it emerged that USAID was funding the school. Her name has also been given to summer camps and both police and military courses. A full list of such incidents is available from Palestinian Media Watch.

Among the victims of the terror attack:

Revital (Tali) Aharonovitch (14)
Naomi Elichai (18)
Erez Alfred (5)
Yitzhak Alfred (44)
Galit Ankwa  (2)
Yitzhak (Yitzik) Ankwa (10)
Haviv Ankwa (38)
Mathilda (Mathy) Askenazy-Daniel (68)
Yehuda Basterman (32)
Rina Bushkenitch (34)
Dov Bushkenitch (36)
Liat Gal-On (6)
Shim’aon Glotman (43)
Amnon Drori (43)
Naama Hadani (5)
Ilan Hohman  (3)
Roi Hohman  (6)
Rebecca Hohman (28)
Mordechai (Moti) Zit  (9)
Josef Kheloani (66)
Malka Leibovitch-Wiess (58)
Tzyona Lozia-Cohen (32)
Abraham Lozia (37)
Otari Mansurov (37)
Yoav (Yoavi) Meshkel (6)
Tuvia Rozner (53)
Gail Rubin (40)
Meir Segal (73)
Katy (Rina) Sosensky (49)
Joseph Sosensky  (56)
Zvi (Zvika) Eshet  (46)
Omry Tel-Oren (14)