Line 300 Incident - April 13, 1984

Named after the bus line involved, the Line 300 bus hostage rescue incident is one of the most infamous hostage rescue incidents in Israel's history, not so much for actual raid but rather for the cover-up that followed it.

In April 12, 1984, four terrorists, armed only with Knives, kidnapped a bus on route from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 32 passengers on board. The terrorist forced the driver to drive to the Gaza Strip area, were the bus finally stopped, breaking through four IDF roadblocks on the way.

When the bus stopped seven hostages managed to escape from it. The terrorists then demanded the immediate release of 500 fellow terrorists held in Israeli prisons and safe path to Egypt.

The first unit to arrive to the scene was YAMAM, which quite ironically was in a bus hostage rescue training when the kidnapping occurred.

Few hours later, Sayeret MATKAL arrived to the scene, and YAMAM was ordered to pull back. After more then ten hors of futile negotiation with the terrorists, was decided to raid the bus and free the hostages.

In the morning of April 13, 1984, Sayeret MATKAL stormed the bus killing two of the terrorists. The entry team also killed one hostage by mistake.

The Israeli General Security Service (SHABACH) took the remaining two terrorists for interrogation. After few hours the two terrorists were illegally executed by the SHABACH agents, who claimed the terrorists' death was the result of injuries from Sayeret MATKAL raid on the kidnapped bus.

Unfortunately for the SHABACH agents, a media photographer managed to take photos of the terrorists walking out from the bus unharmed. The agents then claimed they were ordered to kill the terrorists by a senior IDF officer present on the since, which was incorrect.

Eventually, the SHABACH agents were convicted of wrongdoing, but they receive pardons from the Israeli president and didn't serve any jail time.

Sayeret MATKAL operators (left and inside the bus) securing the bus after the raid.

Two SHABACH agents taking one of the terrorists (middle) to interrogation. The terrorists were later illegally executed by the SHABACH agents creating a major politically fiasco in Israel.

Operations Guide