Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing
|Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing|
school after bombing
|Location||Bahr El-Baqar, Egypt|
|Date||April 8, 1970|
|Perpetrator||Israeli Air Force|
The Bahr el-Baqar primary school in the Egyptian village of Bahr el-Baqar (south of Port Said, in the eastern province of Sharqia) was bombed by the Israeli Air Force on 8 April 1970, killing 46 children. Of the 130 children who attended the school, 46 were killed and over 50 wounded. The school itself was completely demolished. The attack was carried out by Israeli Air Force F4 Phantom II fighter bombers, at 9:20 am on Wednesday April 8. Five bombs and two air-to-ground missiles struck the single-floor school, which consisted of three classrooms.
The attack is considered to be a human error on the Israeli side and was conducted as part of a series of deep penetration strikes named Operation Priha, Israel said it was under the impression that the school was an Egyptian military installation.
The bombing occurred during the War of Attrition (1967–1970), part of Operation Priha's deep penetration strategy which aimed to relieve the conflict along the line of contact on the Suez Canal by striking deep targets. While civilian targets were not deliberately attacked during Priha, some were hit due to human error.
When asked about the incident, Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Dayan said: "Maybe the Egyptians put elementary students in a military base." Speaking about the incident, Egyptian commander Abdelatim Ramadan said: "Actually, two targets were hit by the Israelis. The first target was a group of military bases about 30 km. from the Suez Canal, which were targeted before, on the night of 18–19 December 1969. The second target was the Bahr El-Baqar primary school."
The botched attack is considered a contributing factor to Israel's decision to suspend the operation Priha deep strikes.
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