TEL AVIV (Jun. 1)
Guerrilla rockets, smashing into a school yard in Beisan township this morning killed a nine year old girl and wounded five other children and three adults. Israel Air Force jets and artillery retaliated immediately with heavy attacks on guerrilla bases and Jordanian and Iraqi Army positions in Jordan from where the rocket attack came. The government instructed Israel’s United Nations envoy, Ambassador Yosef Tekoah, to submit a letter to the Security Council today protesting the attack and holding the Jordanian government fully responsible. The government was not asking for a Security Council meeting. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of Staff Gen. Haim Bar Lev flew to Beisan as anguish and rage mounted in Israel over the second terrorist attack in less than two weeks in which school children were the victims. Eight school children and four adults were killed on May 21 when Arab terrorists ambushed a school bus near the Lebanese border.
Gen. Dayan inspected the damage in Beisan, met with the town council and consoled the families of the victims. “The terrorists don’t mind killing children,” he said. “The Jordanians and Iraqis are helping them so we are hitting back.” Beisan, a town of about 12,000 has been a frequent target of artillery and rocket attacks from across the border. Children sleep in underground shelters and concrete bunkers are located within easy reach of homes and the school. But today’s attacks came without warning. An eye-witness said ten Katyusha rocket shells slammed into the town in less than one minute. Most of them exploded in the school yard where first graders were just filing into their classrooms. Two of them were among the wounded children. The girl fatally hit was walking to school with her grandfather. A soda pop stand near the school yard was holed by the rockets and one smashed through the roof of a newly built cottage.