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Israel Investigating Bus Ambush Which Cost Life of American Tourist

December 29, 1969
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli authorities are investigating the fatal ambush of a bus Saturday carrying American tourists. One man, identified as Leon Holtz, 48, of Brooklyn, was killed. The bus was returning to Jerusalem from the Negev when it was fired on near the village of Dura in the Hebron area. Holtz, hit in the chest, was rushed to Hebron where he died in an Army hospital.

The area of the attack is under a dusk-to-dawn curfew. The attack occurred at 5 p.m. local time, shortly before sunset. Israeli authorities said the bus should not have been in that vicinity at the time. The bus driver, David Danziger, apparently took a shortcut over a little frequented route in order to get out of the curfew area before dark.

Mr. Holtz was travelling with his wife, Esther. She was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem for treatment for shock. No other passengers were injured. Mrs. Holtz was informed of her husband’s death by Minister of Tourism, Moshe Kol. She said this was their first visit to Israel, a trip her husband had been planning for 20 years. The couple left their 14-year-old son at home. They arrived in Israel on Dec. 25.

Israeli authorities said the attack was the first on a civilian vehicle in the Hebron area in two months. Previous attacks have been made against trucks carrying Israeli sightseers and against private automobiles. Mr. Holtz’s death was the second American fatality in Israel, due to enemy action. Last June, a California school teacher was killed in a rocket attack near the Dead Sea.

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