12 Killed in School Bus Ambush Aftermath of the attack. Photo: Public Domain

May 22, 1970

Palestinian terrorists ambush an Egged school bus on the road from Moshav Avivim, near the Lebanese border, to Dovev and kill eight children and four adults.

The ambush takes place at a bend in the road where the bus, carrying children to two schools, must slow down about 500 yards from Lebanon. The terrorists fire multiple bazooka shells and small arms, killing the driver and causing the bus to crash and flip. The children killed are ages 7 to 14 and include five members of the Biton family. More than 20 people are injured, including Leah Revivo, who dies in 2014 at age 52 from an infection caused by a piece of shrapnel lodged in her brain in the attack.

An Israeli police officer investigating the area afterward steps on a mine and loses part of a leg, and five parents of children on the bus are injured when their car overturns while speeding to the hospital in Safed.

The Beirut-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command claims credit for the carnage. None of the attackers is ever caught. During an emergency Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Golda Meir blames the Lebanese government for failing to prevent terrorist actions launched from its territory. Israeli intelligence also suspects the involvement of the Syrian government.

Israel retaliates by shelling four Lebanese villages, killing 20 people and compelling thousands to flee northward. Israel Defense Forces troops also begin regular patrols inside southern Lebanon.