Avivim school bus massacre

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Avivim school bus massacre
Part of Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon
Avivim school bus massacre 19700522 avan 3.jpg
Avivim school bus massacre memorial.
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Red pog.svg
The attack site
Location Near Avivim
Date 22 May 1970 (GMT+2)
Target Israeli school bus
Attack type
Weapons Bazooka, gunfire
Deaths 12 (9 children)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator PFLP-GC[1]

The Avivim school bus massacre was a terrorist attack on an Israeli school bus on May 22, 1970 in which 12 Israeli civilians were killed, nine of them children, and 25 were wounded. The attack took place on the road to Moshav Avivim, near Israel's border with Lebanon. Two bazooka shells were fired at the bus.[2] The attack was one of the first carried out by the PFLP-GC.[1]

The attack[edit]

Early in the morning, the bus departed from Avivim heading with its passengers to two local schools. This route had been scouted by the militants, believed to have infiltrated from Lebanon, and an ambush was set up. As the bus passed by, ten minutes after leaving Avivim, it was attacked by heavy gunfire from both sides of the road. The driver was amongst those hit in the initial barrage,[3] as were the two other adults on board. The three were killed as the bus crashed into an embankment as the attackers continued firing into the vehicle.

The attackers were never apprehended.[citation needed]


The children, who were in first to third grade, were buried in a special plot in Safed. A monument commemorating the victims of the attack stands in the middle of the moshav.[4]

  • Ester Avikezer, 23[5]
  • Yehuda Ohayon, 10[6]
  • Yafa Batito, 8[7]
  • Mimon Biton, 7[8]
  • Haviva Biton, 7[9]
  • Chana Biton, 8[10]
  • Shimon Biton, 9[11]
  • Shulamit Biton, 9[12]
  • Machluf Biton, 28[13]
  • Aliza Peretz, 14[14]
  • Rami Yarkoni, 29[15]
  • Shimon Azran, 35[16]


Israel retaliated for the massacre by shelling four Lebanese villages, killing 20 people, injuring 40, and spurring thousands of southern Lebanon's residents to flee north.[17][18] This in turn provided one of the motivations for the Dawson's Field hijackings of 6 September 1970.[18] The IDF also began patrolling regularly inside southern Lebanon after the massacre.[17]

See also[edit]