Initially an immigrant town founded in 1957, Maalot is today beginning to grow roots. Over 4,000 people live there today and it is the home of many industries. Unfortunately, things havent always been easy in the pleasant northern city. In 1974 tragedy stuck this small development town.
On May 15th, 1974 a group of 11th graders from Tsfat were on a field trip to the Golan. After hjiking a whole day, the children slept on the floor of a school in Maalot. A guard was posted outside but during the night he was overpowered and killed by three Arab terrorists, disguised in Israeli uniforms. The terrorists took control of the building and total chaos broke out. Some of the children were killed on the spot, but others escaped by jumping out of a window on the second floor.
By morning the terrorists presented their demands: release Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons, or they will start to kill the children. The deadline was 6:00 p.m.
An emergency meeting of the Knesset was called. Israels policy was not to negotiate with terrorists but innocent children were now involved and clearly something had to be done.
At 3:00pm a decision was reached. The Israelis were willing to negotiate, but they needed more time. This request was refused by the terrorists.
At 5:45pm a crack unit of the elite Golani brigade stormed the building killing all the terrorists but not before the terrorists killed 21 children, may their memories be blessed.