Saturday, March 7, 2009

In memoriam, the 34th anniversary of a more successful mass murder attack.

At the backdrop of the failed bulldozer attack in Jerusalem, at Thursday noon - it is worth remembering a more successful mass murder attack that took place 34 years ago in Tel Aviv.

On Wednesday the fifth of March 1975, when US secretary of state Henry Kissinger was on another Middle-East tour, at around 11pm; two squads of Palestinian gunmen (8 men), in two boats, landed on the coast of Tel Aviv. They made their way shooting to the nearby Savoy Hotel, where they took several hostages. One of them, Cokhava levy acted as a go-between between the terrorists and the security forces besieging the hotel, because she also spoke Arabic.
The terrorists wanted the release of 20 of their comrades from Israeli prisons. When negotiation failed the army moved in, encountering booby-trapped doorways and corridors.

The end result, one of the hotel’s floor blown up, 7 of the 8 terrorists killed, one captured. 8 of the 13 hostages killed, most of them tourists. And 3 soldiers were killed, including the commanders of the operation, Colonel Uzi Yairi.

And these are their name:
The civilians:

Yohans Gasen, age 54 a resident of Germany
Menahem mandel Max Halpren, age 64 from TA, left a wife and a son
Maria Luboshinsky, age 52, resident of France
Mahari Simons, resident of Ethiopia
Helena Saslibovsky, age 74, resident of France
Asher Pelman, age 15, from Hadera
Andre Kornhobol, age 32, resident of Switzerland
Katerina Maria Rot, age 30, resident of Switzerland

The soldiers:
Colonel Uzi Yairi, age 39
Sergeant Itamar Ben David, age 20
Private Moshe Deutchman, age 21

Moshe Deutchman was not a member of the rescue force. He was a soldier on home leave, who lived nearby and engaged the terrorist from his own initiative during the early phases of the attack as the terrorists took over the hotel. He was wounded in the exchange of fire, and later died.

The attack itself was planned by Halil el Vazir a.k.a. Abu Jihad, a senior member in the PLO, Palestine Liberation Organization. Supposedly as reprisal for operation ‘Spring Youth’ of April 73, when leading members of the PLO were taken out by an Israeli commando raid in Beirut.

Israel recalls this mass murder attack with mix feelings; with most of the hostages killed and wounded, this was hardly a success. The backdrop of this event will shape the IDF preparation in a later more famous hostages rescue, the Entebbe operation of July 1976.

1 comment:

  1. Uzi Yairi was age 39, not 49 as written.
    The hotel has been rebuilt.