The air raid came in the context of the War of Attrition that occurred between the 1967 Six Day War and the October 1973 War.
The Bahr Al-Baqar Massacre, as it came to be known, left 46 children dead and over 50 injured.
The Israeli minister of defence during this time, Moshe Dayan, suggested that the school was a military installation and that there were soldiers and weapons hidden on the premises despite having no basis for the claim and no evidence ever surfacing to suggest this, either before or after the attack.
The school, which consisted of only three classes housed on one floor, had a student body of 150 children. The building was completely destroyed as the attack was carried out by Israeli Air Force F4 Phantom II fighter-bombers that used five bombs and two air-to-ground missiles.
The massacre deeply affected Egyptians and brought about a national state of mourning that contributed to the general feeling of helplessness the nation had been experiencing since the 1967 defeat.
It was immortalised in the song “Class is over, pick up your books” written by prominent poet Salah Jaheen, composed by Sayed Mekawy and sung by Shadia.