Back to the video list: Israeli History


During the Olympic Games of 1972 in Munich Palestinian terrorists murdered eleven Israeli sportsmen. In the same year prime minister Golda Meir authorized the Operation Wrath of God. The Mossad and elite units of the Israel Defense Forces assassinated the planners of the Munich Massacre and other leading terrorists. The Operation Wrath of God is also known as Operation Kidon which translates from Hebrew into English Operation Bayonet.






  • Date: From 1972
  • Location: Europe & Lebanon
  • Event: Assassination of Palestinian terrorists by Mossad as a reaction to the Munich Massacre 1972


Parties & Persons Involved

  • Israel
  • Mossad
  • Israel Defense Forces
  • PLO & Black September



  • Middle East Conflict between
    • Arab states & Israel
    • Palestinians & Israel
  • After losing the Jordan Civil War (1970/71) the PLO headquarters are in Lebanon
  • Palestinian terrorist organisations intensify their activities against Israel & Israeli in Europe
  • Munich Massacre (1972): The terrorist organisation Black September murders 11 athletes of the Israeli Olympic team



Origin of the Operation Bayonet

  • 05 Sep 1972: Munich Massacre – Black September murders 11 athletes of the Israeli Olympic team & 1 German policeman
  • Sep / Oct 1972: Prime minister Golda Meir authorises the operation Wrath of God & a target list is drawn up
  • Goals of the Operation Wrath of God:
    • Justice
    • Elimination of terrorist threats
    • Psychological warfare
  • 29 Oct 1972: The German government releases the 3 surviving terrorists of Munich in exchange for a hijacked Lufthansa flight


The First Phase of the Operation Kidon

  • 16 Oct 1972 – Rome: Assassination of Abdel Wael Zwaiter (alleged member of Black September) with 11 shots
  • 08 Dec 1972 – Paris: Assassination of Mahmoud Hamshari (PLO representative in France) with a bomb in the telephone
  • 24 Jan 1973 – Nicosia: Assassination of Hussein Al Bashir (Fatah representative in Cyprus) with a bomb under his hotel bed
  • 09/10 Apr 1973 – Beirut & Sidon: Operation Spring of Youth - Assassination of Mohammad Youssef Al Najjar, Kamal Adwan, Kamal Nasser & other leaders of PLO & Black September by Sayeret Matkal, Shayetet 13 & Sayeret Tzanhanim
  • 28 Jun 1973 – Paris: Assassination of Mohammad Boudia (Black September director of operations in France) with a mine under his car
  • 11 Apr 1973 – Athens: Assassination of Zaiad Muchasi (Fatah representative in Cyprus) with a fire bomb in his hotel room


The Lillehammer Affaire

  • 21 Jul 1973 – Lillehammer: Assassination of the innocent Moroccan waiter Ahmed Bouchiki who is mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh (planer of the Munich Massacre & commander of Force 17)
  • Norwegian courts sentence 5 Mossad agents to imprisonment (released & expelled to Israel in 1975)
  • The operation causes international indignation
  • Prime minister Golda Meir suspends the operation
  • 22 Jan 1979 – Beirut: Assassination of Ali Hassan Salameh (planer of the Munich Massacre & commander of Force 17) with a car bomb


Other Operations

Apart from the mentioned operations Mossad allegedly conducted several other missions (assassinations, psychological warfare, non-lethal operations)

  • 27 Jul 1979: Assassination of Zuheir Mohsen
  • 01 Jun 1981: Assassination of Naim Khader
  • 01 Mar 1982: Assassination of Nabil Wadi Aranki
  • 01 Aug 1981: Attempt on Abu Daoud’s life


The operation & the men behind the Munich Massacre

The effectiveness of the operation Wrath of God against the terrorists behind the Munich Massacre is disputed:

The only surviving man behind the Munich Massacre is Abu Daoud vs. Only terrorists with a low or indirect involvement are killed


Consequences & Impact

  • Failed assassination attempt on Golda Meir by Black September (14 Jan 1973)
  • PLO & Black September kill suspected Mossad agents & Israeli diplomats
  • Substantial damage of the (European) infrastructure of Black September & PLO
  • The message “Mossad can strike anytime & anywhere” deters Palestinian terrorists & supporting Arab states
  • Improvement of the security of Israelis, esp. those living abroad
  • The concentration of Mossad resources on the operation Wrath of God probably led to an insufficient reconnaissance of Syria & Egypt & subsequently to the “shock” after their surprise attack during the Yom Kippur War (1973)