Yiftah, who had been seriously wounded in the stomach, was operated on at Hadassah hospital, now located in the English Mission hospital in the Street of the Prophets (Haneviim Street) because the route to the hospital's original location on Mount Scopus was too dangerous.
To reach Mount Scopus you had to pass through the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a constant hazard despite the British unit stationed there to prevent attacks on vehicles travelling to and from Mount Scopus. The Haganah took additional precautions and hospital staff was transported to Mount Scopus in armor-plated buses, which were escorted by an armed Haganah force in armored cars. Even ambulances were covered with metal sheeting.
On April 13, a convoy of two ambulances, two buses, three trucks and three-armored car escorts, one at the head of the convoy and the other at the end, set out for Mount Scopus. The passage of the convoy had been co-ordinated in advance with army authorities through Dr. Reifenberg, the University's liaison officer, who had been a senior officer in the British army during World War Two. The British assured Reifenberg that the road was open and not dangerous. However, when the convoy reached Sheikh Jarrah, heavy fire was directed at it from Arab positions. The armored car returned fire, but the enemy fire continued, damaging the convoy's tyres and forcing it to halt.
British soldiers nearby watched the scene without doing a thing to help the passengers in the convoy.
Word of the attack on the convoy was transmitted to the Haganah command in Jerusalem, but instead of sending an armed unit to rescue it, the Haganah appealed to the British for help. The British promised to intervene, but remained passive. By the time an attempt was made to send a Haganah military force to rescue the convoy, it was too late.
In the end, the Arabs succeeded in overpowering the armed escorts and setting fire to the vehicles. Of 112 passengers, 78 were killed and 24 injured. It was a catastrophe, which had a shattering impact on the Jewish community in Jerusalem. The British had again demonstrated that they were not worthy of their promises, and the Haganah had proved incompetent in its task of protecting the people.
Yiftah, then recuperating from his wounds, was in one of the ambulances on his way to Mount Scopus for further treatment. Although the ambulance succeeded in returning to the city, Yiftah's stitches burst open during the bumpy journey and he died shortly afterwards.