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Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing

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Bahr El-Baqar primary school bombing
Bahr El-Baqar Massacre (5).jpg
school after bombing
LocationBahr El-Baqar, Egypt
DateApril 8, 1970
Attack type
Aerial bombing
PerpetratorIsraeli 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.[1][2][3] 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.[1][2]

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,[4][5][6] Israel said it was under the impression that the school was an Egyptian military installation.[7][8]


Memorial to the victims of the bombing.
Injured victims

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.[4]

Israel said that it had thought the school was an Egyptian military installation.[7][8]

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."[9]


The botched attack is considered a contributing factor to Israel's decision to suspend the operation Priha deep strikes.[6]


  1. ^ a b Hammad, Gamal. Al-Ahram Weekly On-line, 8 - 14 October 1998, Issue No.398. Retrieved on 2007-10-18
  2. ^ a b Al-Ahram Weekly, 30 Dec. 1999 - 5 Jan. 2000, Issue No. 462. Retrieved on 2007-10-18
  3. ^ http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68674/Egypt/Politics-/-Egypts-Bahr-AlBaqar-Flashbacks-of-an-Israeli-war-.aspx
  4. ^ a b Israel's Wars: A History Since 1947, Ahron Bregman, ISBN 978-1138905368
  5. ^ Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon, David Landau, ISBN 978-1400042418
  6. ^ a b Israeli Fortifications of the October War 1973, Simon Dunstan
  7. ^ a b "In Cold Blood". Time magazine. 1970-06-01. Archived from the original on April 28, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Shalom, Danny (2007). Phantoms over Cairo - Israeli Air Force in the War of Attrition (1967-1970) (in Hebrew). Bavir Aviation & Space Publications. ISBN 965 90455 2 2.
  9. ^ "The War of Attrition as Reflected in Egyptian Sources" (1995), p. 107, by Mustafa Kabha (in Hebrew)

Coordinates: 30°51′35″N 31°54′54″E / 30.85972°N 31.91500°E / 30.85972; 31.91500