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Begin: Terror Attack on Kibbutz Proves Israel’s Security Needs

April 9, 1980
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Premier Menachem Begin said today that the terrorist attack yesterday on Kibbutz Misgav Am in which three Israelis were killed, one of them a 21/2-year-old child, was proof of Israel’s need for security.

“Evil men who are bent on the destruction of Israel carried out this barbaric crime,” Begin said as he received the Stephen Wise Award from an American Jewish Congress leadership mission visiting Jerusalem. “It is only a warning to us as for as our future security is concerned. We knew it all the time. Now some others will understand it better.”

The terrorists invaded the kibbutz on the Lebanese border early yesterday and book a group of children in the kibbutz nursery as hostage. Shmuel (Sami) Shani, 34, the secretary of the kibbutz, who was In the nursery to make repairs was killed in on apparent struggle with the terrorists. An Israeli soldier, Elyahu Tzafrir, of Holon, was killed during a first unsuccessful rescue attempt by the army. During the second, successful rescue attempt, Eyal Gluska, the 2 1/2-year-old child, was killed and four other children were wounded. The troops killed the five terrorists

One other kibbutz member, Meir Peretz, and 11 soldiers were also wounded. Peretz, who was wounded in the leg, was still hospitalized today.


Begin received a message of condolence from President Carter today. “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the tragedy of Misgav Am,” Carter wrote. “Please accept my heartfelt condolences and those of all my fellow Americans. Our thoughts are with you and the friends and families of the victims of the brutal act.”

The message was delivered by U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis, who had himself condemned the attack yesterday. He said there was no justification for an attack on a peaceful community and especially on the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Egyptian Ambassador Sood Mortoda, who was guest of Moroccan Jews at their traditional Mimouna Festival which is held every year on the eighth day of Passover, said Egypt is against bloodshed whether it is of Jews or Arabs. “Though we have an understanding of the plight of the Palestinians, we reject bloodshed as a way of reaching political aims. It is better to sit at the negotiating table.”

(In Paris today, the French government condemned the terrorist attack as “odious” and expressed sympathy for the victims and their relatives. President Valery Giscard d’Estaing issued a personal statement condemning the raid and expressing his and France’s outrage. Jewish organizations in France cabled messages of sympathy to the Israel government and said that yesterday’s outrage indicates the type of “terrorists with which Israel is called upon to negotiate.”)

Meanwhile, on investigation was being conducted as to why the electronic warning devices on the fence that surrounds Kibbutz Misgav Am did not go off. Electronics experts and the manufacturers were inspecting the fence today.

From his hospital bed today, Peretz said he was the only adult sleeping in the nursery when he was awakened by the five terrorists pointing their guns at him. He said he was tied up and two of the infants were taken from their cribs and placed on his bed. He said the children continuously cried for their parents.

Peretz said one of the terrorists apparently lost control of himself and fired into his leg. When the Israeli troops stormed the dormitory, he grabbed the two infants and fell to the floor, managing to crawl into a corner where they remained until they were rescued.

This afternoon thousands of kibbutzniks and other residents from Israeli settlements for and wide attended the double funeral of Gluska and Shani at Kibbutz Misgav Am. Among those at the funeral were Begin and top government officials. As the tiny coffin containing the child’s body was lowered into the grave, Berlin quoted the words of Chaim Nachman Bialik: “Even Satan has not yet invented revenge for a little child’s blood. “Many attending the funeral were crying and sobbing. The funeral service for Tzafrir will be held tomorrow in Tel Aviv.

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