Timeline:Israeli Intelligence, Espionage and Covert Operations -
From 1968 to the Yom Kippur War (1973)

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This timeline includes intelligence and covert operations from 1968 to the Yom Kippur War, including the operations undertaken to avenge the Munich Olympics massacre.


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 and Covert Operations -
 From 1968 to the Yom Kippur War (1973)

1968 The Swiss-Jewish engineer Alfred Frauenkecht helps the Lishka Le'Kishrei Mada/Bureau of Scientific Liaison (LAKAM) obtain the blueprints of the Mirage III jet fighter. David Bar-Tov replaces Yehuda Lapidot as director of Nativ. Zvi Zamir is appointed director of the Mossad until 1974.

Mirage III - Israel

Feb. The remaining members of the Jewish espionage network in Egypt are released in a prisoner exchange between the Israeli and Egyptian governments.
Nov. Operation Plumbat, a combined action by the Bureau of Scientific Liaison and the Mossad in support of the Israeli nuclear weapons effort, diverts a uranium shipment.  A German freighter with a cargo of some 200 tons of yellowcake (uranium oxide) disappears. The freighter turns up at a Turkish port, but the cargo has gone. Presumably, it was transferred at sea to an Israeli ship.
1969 Ashraf Marwan, scion of a respected Egyptian family and married to the third daughter of Egyptian president Nasser, volunteers to provide the Mossad with sensitive and classified information. Ashraf's information on Egypt's inability to wage war against Israel because its army lacks the weapons necessary for this purpose gradually develops into what becomes known as "the Concept." Eventually, it was determined that Marwan was either a clever Egyptian double agent, or was deliberately fed disinformation.
Dec. 24 In Operation Noah's Ark, Israel "liberates" five missile boats it had ordered and paid for from the French shipyard at Cherbourg. These had been held up by the French arms embargo.
Sept. 1972After the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games by Palestinian terrorists of the Black September Organization, Prime Minister Golda Meir calls on the Mossad to exact vengeance. Aharon Yariv, newly appointed adviser to the prime minister on counterterrorism, and Mossad director Zamir persuade the Israeli cabinet to form a top secret counterterrorist committee within the Israeli cabinet. Prime Minister Golda Meir and Defense Minister Moshe Dayan chair this special panel, known simply as "Committee-X." It compiles a list of targets for assassination. Committee-X resolves to kill any Black September terrorist involved directly or indirectly in planning, assisting, or executing the attack on the Israeli athletes.

Victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre

Oct. Eliyahu (Eli) Zeira is appointed head of AMAN (military intelligence), serving in this position until April 1974.
16 Oct. Wael Zwaiter, organizer of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terror activity in Europe, is killed by a Mossad team in Italy.
Dec. Udi Adiv, an Israeli leftist, is exposed as a spy for the PLO.
Jan. 24, 1973 Hussein Abad Al-Chir is killed in Cyprus by Mossad agents.
April Ashraf Marwan, the Mossad's top Egyptian intelligence source, provides early warning that at the end of April, later revised to May, Egypt will launch a war; in fact, April and May 1973 pass uneventfully, except for a small scale mobilization of Israeli reserves.
April 9Operation Springtime of Youth (Aviv Neurim) is carried out in Beirut by Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Commando) with the assistance of the Mossad. Ehud Barak, dressed as a woman, and others, land in Beirut by sea in a daring escapade. Abu Yussef (also known as Mahmoud Yussuf Najjer), Kamal Adwan, and Kamal Nasser are killed. All three had played a part in the Munich massacre.
April 12Ziad Muchassi, the PLO's liaison with the Soviet KGB, is killed by an explosive device in his bedroom at the Aristide Hotel in Athens by a Mossad team.
June  28Mohammed Boudia, liaison between the Palistine Liberation Organization's (PLO) headquarters and its offices in Europe, is killed by the Mossad.
July 21 Mossad agents in Lillehammer, Norway, kill a Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki, after misidentifying him as Ali Hassan Salameh, leader of the Black September Organization that carried out the 1972 Munich massacre.
Aug. The Syrian army carries out a massive deployment of troops and weaponry along the Golan front, accompanied by a dense (surface-to-air) missile network, which covers the airspace over the Golan Heights as well as the Syrian divisions. Military Intelligence (MI) analysts dismiss this deployment as defensive against Israeli air strikes.
Sept. 13 Israel Air Force (IAF) jets are attacked during a reconnaissance mission over Syrian territory. IAF planes shoot down 12 Syrian aircraft and suffer one loss. This naturally reinforces the military's belief that the Arabs will not attack on account of Israel's once-again proven air capability.
Sept. 25King Hussein meets Prime Minister Meir and warns her of impending war.
Oct. 1Lieutenant Siman-Tov, a junior intelligence officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Southern Command, contrary to his commanders, strongly maintains that the huge Egyptian deployments and exercises along the west bank of the Suez Canal seem to be camouflage for a real canal-crossing assault. His assessment is categorically rejected. After the Yom Kippur War, the so called Siman-Tov procedure is initiated in AMAN, whereby every Israeli army officer who holds a different view is allowed to express it freely, even bypassing his immediate commander and going directly to the head of AMAN (military intelligence). Normally, no soldier or officer is allowed to bypass his immediate commanders.
Oct. 5The director of the Mossad, Zvi Zamir, receives a phone call from the Mossad's case officer in London, who is in contact with Ashraf Marwan. The latter has given him the codeword tsnon, signifying the immediate unleashing of war, but he insists on providing more details only to the Mossad director in person. Zamir flies to London for the meeting.
Oct. 6 Start of the Yom Kippur War. Zamir calls the head of AMAN, Eli Zeira, from the Israeli embassy in London on an open phone line due to the absence of a cipher clerk; no clerks are available because of the Yom Kippur observances. Zamir conveys Ashraf Marwan's message that war will start that day before sunset and that the attack will be by combined Egyptian and Syrian forces simultaneously. At 1355 hours, with Israel woefully unprepared, the Egyptian/Syrian attack is launched. Amos Levinburg, an intelligence officer, is captured in the Hermon outpost by Syrian commandos at the beginning of the Yom Kippur War. He has a phenomenal memory and conveys to his captors a vast amount of information about IDF structure. He is nicknamed "the Jewish book-writing professor" in Syrian communications. When the range of information he has divulged to the enemy becomes known, there is no alternative to a total overhaul of AMAN. Levinburg returns to Israel, is recognized as an IDF invalid, and is not charged.
Oct. 12
Yom Kippur War - 1973- Israel

Field intelligence officers score intelligence successes during the war. AMAN predicts the start of a the second Egyptian offensive and forwards this information to the chief of the general staff (CGS), Lieutenant General David Elazar. Intelligence has detected a gap between the Egyptian Second Army, which crossed the Suez Canal near Ismailia, and the Third Army, to the south, which crossed between the Suez and Great Bitter Lake. This  is the most vulnerable point of the Egyptian forces, and IDF forces break through it to reach the Suez Canal at Dier Suweir on 15 Oct. and cross to the west bank of the canal.

Oct. 16-17Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) from AMAN (MI) successfully tracks the Egyptian 25th Armored Brigade as it makes its way northward from the Third Army enclave toward the Israeli crossing zone. With this early information, a division in Major General Ariel Sharon's force sets a two-brigade trap on the shore of Great Bitter Lake. As a result, the 25th Brigade is almost completely destroyed, with few Israeli casualties. This marks the start of the collapse of the Egyptian army.
Nov. 18, 1973The Israeli government resolves to establish a state commission of inquiry to investigate the Israeli intelligence failure on the eve of the Yom Kippur War; this is the Agranat Commission.

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