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Operation Suzannah

The aim of the Israeli Operation Suzannah was to bomb American installations in Egypt, such as cinemas, hoping it would harm Egyptian-American ties. It is also known as the Lavon affair or Faulty Business (esek bish), after the Israeli defence minister who was forced to resign because of the incident, then deeply shocked the Israeli political system by asking to review his case.

The operation was carried out by an Israeli military intelligence unit ("Unit 131" [1]) in 1954, but supposedly not backed by civilian Israeli leadership of that time. The operation, which was commenced in an amateurish fashion, led to the almost immediate identification and capture of the Mossad agents before any lives were taken.

Israeli agents working in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including a United States diplomatic facility, and left evidence behind implicating Arabs as the culprits. The ruse would have worked, had not one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to capture and identify one of the bombers, which in turn led to the round up of an Israeli spy ring. Some of the spies were from Israel, while others were recruited from the local Jewish population in Egypt.

The capture of the agents caused outrage among the Egyptian authorities. However, there was also great concern among the Israeli public, most of which vehemently opposed such activities, and lead to Israel's first major political scandal.

See also

External link [1] Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 282