This past weekend, reports out of Malaysia claimed that Israeli intelligence carried out an assassination against one of Hamas' main terrorists in charge of rocket attacks. While the Jewish state has not confirmed the hit, The Jerusalem Post's Yonah Jeremy Bob takes a look at eight of the most famous operations the Mossad has carried out in defense of Israel:
With speculation rife that the Mossad took out a top Hamas weapons expert in Malaysia on Saturday, it is worth looking back at a range of famous operations allegedly pulled off by the Mossad over the years.
1. Capture, trial and hanging of arch-Nazi Adolf Eichmann – 1960-1962
Though not a hit in the sense that it was a kidnapping that led to a trial and a hanging, the Adolf Eichmann operation must still be on the list.
Adolf Eichmann ran Hitler's Final Solution that led to the murder of six million Jews during the Holocaust. Though he was initially captured by Allied forces after World War II, he escaped and eventually fled to Argentina.
A Holocaust survivor in Argentina tipped off the Mossad that Eichmann might have been located living under the alias of Ricardo Klement.
Around a dozen Mossad agents were involved in the surveillance and capture operation. Pictures of “Klement” were compared to Eichmann with a key matching feature being the shape of his ears.
Mossad agents nabbed and whisked off Eichman into a car on his way home from work. They examined his body and found expected known scars.
Interrogated repeatedly after giving false names, he eventually admitted his real name was Eichmann and then asked for a glass of wine.
Next, he was flown to Israel on an El Al aircraft which had brought an official Israeli delegation to Buenos Aires as cover. Eichmann, heavily sedated and dressed in an El Al uniform, was passed off as a sick airline employee.
Eichmann was tried in Israel and hung in 1962.
2. Revenge for the murders of Israeli athletes at 1972 Munich Olympics – 1972 and on for decades
On September 5, 1972, as Israel’s Olympic athletes slept in their Olympic quarters in Munich, eight Black September Palestine Liberation Organization operatives disguised as track athletes concealing a range of assault rifles and pistols in duffel bags scaled a 2-meter fence.
They gained access to where the Israeli athletes were sleeping and eventually murdered 11 of them, plus a German police officer. Israel and the Mossad did not turn the other cheek and instead drew up a hit list.
A wave of assassinations of suspected Black September operatives across Europe then ensued.
On October 16, 1972 two Mossad agents shot PLO Italy representative Abdel Wael Zwaiter around a dozen times at his residence after he came home from dinner in Rome. The hit was the first of a campaign of retaliation in which dozens of those directly or indirectly involved in the Munich Olympics attack were assassinated.
Other persons on the list and PLO operatives were continually targeted even after the initial retaliation campaign. On April 9, 1973, the Mossad and the IDF launched a joint operation in Beirut involving a small fleet of missile boats and patrol boats which traveled to an empty Lebanese beach.
They took out Mohammad Yusuf al-Najjar (Abu Yusuf), head of Fatah's intelligence arm, which ran Black September; Kamal Adwan, who directed PLO actions inside Israel; and Kamal Nassir, the PLO spokesman. Ehud Barak, who would later serve as prime minister, led the commando raid.
Additional retaliatory operations were launched in 1979 and, some say, even into the 1990s...