Operation Wrath of God Essay

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Operation Wrath of God was Israel’s response to the Munich Massacre. In 1972, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Munich, Germany (then West Germany). Eleven, Israeli Olympians and coaches were held hostage and eventually murdered by members of the Black September terrorist group which is part of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Furthermore, five of the eight terrorists were killed in a failed hostage recovery attempt by the Germans. The three remaining terrorists were released in exchange for a hijacked plane (Rosenberg, 2010). Israel’s response was Operation Wrath of God.
In a swift response to the Munich Massacre the “Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir gave instructions for Israeli agents to hunt down and kill those
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If she experienced any hesitations, those emotions ceased when terrorists hijacked a commercial jet in exchange for the remaining three terrorists (Wikipedia, 2010). Obviously the terrorists would continue to harm innocent civilians until their wishes were met or they were dead. Furthermore, Israel would be safe by plausible deniability in hopes to prevent retaliation.
The operations were orchestrated by a small team of operatives and support. The teams “operated outside of direct government control” (Wikipedia, 2010). They would gather intelligence on targets and assist the assassin in escaping from the scene. The attacks were supposed to be dramatic to create more fear. They accomplished this by installing bombs and killing with multiple shots. The diversity created even more fear. A bomb was planted in a phone which was activated after confirming target another under one’s bed (Wikipedia, 2010). The operation appeared to be successful until the wrong target was killed.
Israel believed that Ali Hassan Salameh was the leader of the massacre. They located him in a Norwegian town in 1973. The assassins “shot a man returning from a movie with his pregnant wife. The victim turned out to be a Moroccan waiter” (Palmer, 2010). This was a detrimental error for the operation. It opened Israel to new attacks from terrorists, public scrutiny (not just nationally but globally as well) and loss of plausible deniability.

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