What happened at Ma’alot, Kiryat Shmona, and other terrorist targets in the 1970s?
Seventies was a decade which saw terrorist activities of violent nature from both Israel and Palestine with equally violent retaliation from both sides. While Palestine did violent efforts to infiltrate Israelis from Lebanon, it pushed Israel more towards invading Lebanon once and for all, taking it by force.
Avivim School Bus Attack and Massacre Of Four Lebanese Villages
One of the first attacks carried out by PFLP-GC was on the school bus passing from the road of Moshav Avivim, located near the border of Israel and Jordan. 12 Israeli civilians were killed in the attack of which nine were children. The attack also wounded 25 people and was done by firing two bazooka shells on the bus.
This attack was retaliated by Israel in the form of a massacre of four Lebanese villages which killed 20 people with 40 badly wounded. This attack resulted in thousands of residents to flee north from southern Lebanon.
Ma’a lot Attack of 1974 and IDF Attack on Palestinian Refugee Camps In Lebanon
Ma’a lot attack started when three members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine entered Israel through Lebanon and took 115 people hostage, demanding the release of 23 Palestinians in prisons in Israel. On the second day of the hostage, Golani Brigade entered the hostage apartment building in Ma’a lot and Palestinians working on their threat killed 25 hostages and 68 were left injured.
The next day, Israeli Defense Force responded with aerial attack on the training camps and offices of PFLP and DFLP, killing around 27 people, with 138 injured. According to a report by BBC, this bombing damaged 7 Palestinian refugee camps and villages in southern Lebanon.
Aitharoun and Kawnin Massacre, 1975
Israel initiated the Aitharoun Massacre with setting up a booby-trapped bomb which killed 9 civilians and injured 23. Another such massacre was held in Kawnin where an Israeli Tank ran over a car carrying 16 people of which none survived. This act was said to be a deliberate one from Israel.
Hanin and Bint Jbeil Massacre, 1976
Israeli forces entered Hanin after a two-month siege and hours of shelling and turned the village into a bloodbath. This brutal massacre killed 20 people. On the other hand, 23 people were killed and 30 wounded in a barrage of Israeli bombs that targeted a crowded market in Bint Jbeil, slaughtering people present there.
Operation Litani, 1978
Operation Litani started on March 14, 1978 when around 25,000 Israeli soldiers entered Lebanon through Litani River in South Lebanon, around 20 miles from the Israeli border. As stated by Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, this invasion was to “clean up once and for all terrorist concentrations in southern Lebanon.”
The invasion which lasted for three months killed 2000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians and was regarded as the biggest military action between Israel and Arabs since the war of October 1973. Egypt condemned Palestinians for their violent activities against Israel and also condemned Israel for invading Lebanon, calling it an “Organized genocide” and a “flagrant violation” of the sovereignty of Lebanon.
The era of 1970s witnessed many inhuman moves by both the parties which resulted in the loss of many precious lives, and narrowed down all the routes to a peaceful solution of Middle East conflict.