1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon

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1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon
Part of Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon
Planned by Israel Defense Forces
Objective Destroy Middle East Airlines passenger planes on Beirut International Airport
Date December 28, 1968
Executed by Sayeret Matkal
Outcome Success

The 1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon, code-named Operation Gift (Hebrew: מבצע תשורה‎), was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Special Forces operation at the Beirut International Airport in the evening of December 28, 1968. The operation was in response to the attack on the Israeli Airliner El Al Flight 253 two days earlier by the Palestinian Lebanon-based militant organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The commandos from the Israeli army's elite Sayeret Matkal destroyed 12 or 13 passenger airplanes (references differ) and 1 cargo plane belonging to Middle East Airlines (MEA).[1]

There were no casualties reported in the raid.[2]


Of the 13 aircraft destroyed eight belonged to MEA; which was 30% owned by Air France, 5% by Lebanese individuals and 65% by the Intra Investment Company. Intra was an inter-governmental corporation constituted by the Kuwaiti, Qatari, Lebanese and American governments. The US was represented by the Commodity Credit Corporation which was owed money by Intra Bank, the predecessor of Intra Company, for wheat sales. Lebanese International Airways owned 3 of the destroyed aircraft which were 58% American owned. Trans-Mediterranean Airways lost two planes owned by private Lebanese individuals. The total value of the planes was estimated to be $43.8 million of which British insurers initially agreed to pay $18 million, excluding all policies which did not cover acts of war.[3]


  1. ^ Time (July 13, 2006). "The Risks of Israel's Two-Front War". Retrieved May 30, 2008.
  2. ^ Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (August 13, 2000). "THE WAR OF ATTRITION AND THE CEASE FIRE - INTRODUCTION". Retrieved May 30, 2008.
  3. ^ John Norton Morton (Editor) (1974) The Arab Israeli Conflict. Volume II. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05648-X. p.221, quoting New York Times 5 January 1969, section 4, p.1

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