ISRAEL: Massacre at Scorpion's Pass

At dawn one day last week, a bus pulled out of the stockade at Elath, Israel's southernmost outpost and single Red Sea port. It headed north into the Negeb desert, toward Beersheba and civilization, wheezing and jogging for hours through the cratered wasteland that comprises half of Israel. The 15 passengers chatted and compared souvenirs. Outside, vultures wheeled in the pale sky.

The bus reached treacherous Scorpion's Pass, 60 miles south of Beersheba, and started up the grade like a clumsy beetle. As it neared a stone monument, erected to honor the Jews who fell in 1948 to win...

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