34 crew members were killed and 171 wounded. Jet fighters even strafed life rafts. At the time, the ship was in international waters about 29 miles north west of the Egyptian city of Arish.
No Israeli official was ever brought to book.
That this incident occurred during the Six-Day War is pivotal.
“The Liberty’s presence and function were known to Israel’s leaders. (The Liberty was in the area to monitor the communications of the warring parties - she was, in effect, a spy ship) They presumably thought it vital that the Liberty be prevented from informing Washington of their intention to violate any cease-fire before they had completed their occupation of the Golan.We live with the consequences of Johnson prostituting himself to an 'almost anything' policy to this day.
Their solution was brutal and direct...
The administration tried vigorously to downplay the whole matter. Although it silenced the crew, casualties to the sailors and damage to the ship could not possibly be concealed... In the end the Israelis tendered a reluctant and graceless apology...
The ultimate lesson of the Liberty attack had far more effect on policy in Israel than in America. Israel’s leaders concluded that nothing they might do would offend the Americans to the point of reprisal. If America’s leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that THEIR AMERICAN FRIENDS WOULD LET THEM GET AWAY WITH ANYTHING.”
P.S. In 1968, just one year after Israel murdered 34 Americans, the arch-Zionist Johnson quadrupled Israel's aid budget.