Timeline: Israeli Intelligence, Espionage and Covert Operations:

 From 1983 to 1991

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This timeline includes intelligence and covert operations from 1983 to 1991.


Israel Pre-State Intelligence Timeline | Israel Intelligence Timeline - 1948-1956 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1956-1960 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1961-1967 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1968-1973 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1974-1982 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1983-1991 | Israel Intelligence Timeline 1992-present 


Intelligence gathering and covert operations  are part of the normal function of any state. Israel has spied, and been spied against. A great deal of the success of Israel, a tiny and weak state for most of its existence, and of the Zionist movement before the creation of the state, was due to its renowned information gathering and covert operations activities, carried out by the Mossad, the IDF and the Shabak. The exploits of Israeli intelligence have been lauded by its friends, and naturally enough, condemned by its enemies. Israeli intelligence has also had a number of failures, and some of them were responsible for key setbacks, such as failure to predict the Yom Kippur War.


These timelines provide detailed accounts of Israeli and Zionist covert activities since 1915.


Further reading:


A Timeline of Zionist and Israeli history provides further context and background  

Additional links Zionism and Israel - historical sources, Photo Gallery of Zionist History  and the history of Zionism and Modern Israel  and  Zionism & its Impact will help round out the picture.

A detailed timeline of the Six Dar War 1967 Six Day War Timeline (chronology)  


 Additional information (off site) Brief History of Israel and Palestine and Labor Zionism  The article  - Anti-Semitism includes a Timeline of Anti-Semitism



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Timeline: Israeli Intelligence, Espionage and Covert Operations:

 From 1983 to 1991

Jan. 1983
Marcus Klingberg - Convicted Spy

Marcus Klingberg, vice president of the Nes Tsiona Institute for Biological Research, which conducts military - related research, is arrested for spying for the USSR. He is tried, found guilty, and imprisoned for 20 years.

Feb. 7 The Kahan Commission reports that the massacre at Sabra and Shatila was carried out by a Lebanese Phalangist unit, acting on its own; although the unit's entry into the camps was known to Israel, no Israeli was directly responsible for the events that occurred in the camps. However, the commission concludes that government officials should have appreciated the likelihood of a massacre.
Ehud Barak is appointed head of AMAN (MI) and promoted to major general. The Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies (JCSS) is founded at Tel Aviv University. The center is considered the academic equivalent to MI.
April 12, 1984Four Palestinians hijack bus no. 300, traveling from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 41 passengers, and force it to drive to the Gaza Strip. The terrorists negotiate for the release of about  500 PLO terrorists in Israeli jails. An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit storms the bus, releases the passengers except for one woman passenger who is killed; seven other passengers are wounded. Two of the terrorists are killed inside the bus. The other two are severely beaten, then driven off in a van by GSS agents, who torture and kill them. The revelation of these events by the Israeli press creates an enormous furor.
Jonathan Pollard - Israel Intelligence Timeline (Chronology)
Jonathan Jay Pollard, an American naval security analyst recruited without the knowledge of the Mossad or army intelligence apparently, begins to deliver sensitive information to his Israeli handlers Yossi Yagur and Aviam Sella.
June A Commission of Inquiry headed by res. Major Meir Zorea is formed to determine who killed the two terrorists of bus 300 who had been captured alive.
21 Nov. Operation Moses to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel commences. Ended Jan. 5, 1985.
Mar. 28, 1985A second operation to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel, Operation Sheba, begins, but lasts but a few days. 
June The Center for Special Studies is established with the primary purpose of memorializing the fallen of the Israeli intelligence community. It devotes its resources to the education of the younger generation about the past deeds of Israeli intelligence.
Nov. Jonathan Pollard is arrested in the United States and charged with espionage for Israel, straining relations between the two allies.
1986 Major General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak is appointed head of AMAN (military intelligence), a position he holds until 1991.
Sept. Mordechai Vanunu, a former technician at the Dimona Nuclear Research Center, reveals sensitive information about the reactor to the Sunday Times (London).
Sept. 24Cheryl Ben-Tov (Cindy), a female Mossad assistant agent, contrives to meet Vanunu in London in an attempt to lure him to Rome for capture and conveyance to Israel for trial.
Sept. 30After several few meetings in London, Cindy entices Vanunu to her supposed apartment in Rome, where three Mossad case officers await them. Vanunu is held, given a knockout injection, and placed in a large crate, which is loaded on to an Israeli ship as diplomatic cargo and shipped to Israel.
Oct. 5The Sunday Times publishes the article on the Israeli nuclear weapons program, with photos of secret facilities at the Dimona reactor taken by Mordechai Vanunu.
1987 The Israeli intelligence community fails to predict the Palestinian uprising (known as the Intifada). The Landau Commission of Inquiry into Israeli Security Agency (ISA) methods of investigation regarding hostile terrorist activities is appointed to probe allegations of torture of arrested Palestinians; the findings and publicity serve as propaganda for anti-Zionists. The commission's conclusions were eventually included in the  2002 ISA law.
April Yosef Amit, a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intelligence officer, is convicted of treason and espionage for the United States.
Dec. 1987 Shabtai Kalmanovitch, an emigrant from the USSR, is arrested on charges of spying. He is tried and sentenced to 9 years in prison, but allowed to return to Russia in 1993.
1988 The Israeli intelligence community fails to foresee the end of the Iraq-Iran war, which occurs in 1988.
April Yaakov Peri takes office as director of the ISA. He holds the post until March 1, 1995.
April 16
Abu Jihad - Khalil El Wazir - PLO terrorist assassinated 1988 - Israeli Intelligence

Khalil Al Wazir (Abu Jihad) deputy to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat is assassinated in his villa in Tunisia by the Israeli elite Sayeret Matkal unit with the assistance of the Mossad.

Sept. The Ofek-1 satellite is launched to gain experience in launching and using intelligence satellites.
1989 Shabtai Shavit is appointed director of the Mossad, remaining in this position until 1996.
1990 The Ofek-2 satellite is launched for research purposes.
Mar. 22 Gerald Bull, a Canadian astrophysicist and metallurgist who worked on a project to build an "atomic cannon," is shot dead at close range at the entrance to his home, allegedly by the Mossad.
Mar. 1991Major General Uri Sagie assumes the directorship of Military Intelligence (MI) and serves in this position until June 1995.
May 24 Operation Solomon begins. Israel Air Force (IAF) and El Al airplanes take off and land continuously at Addis Ababa airport for thirty-three hours, bringing 14,325 Ethiopian Jews to Israel    The Israeli government supposedly paid Ethiopia's ruler, Colonel Haile Mariam Mengistu $30 million. , to allow their departure.

Previous: Israel Intelligence Timeline 1974-1982 Next: Israel Intelligence Timeline 1992-present 



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 Timeline of Israeli Intelligence & Covert Ops