IDF troops (bottom left) advancing on the PLO safehouse in Beirut

Operation Spring of Youth was an Israeli raid on Lebanon that occurred on 9-10 April 1973 when a team of Israel Defense Forces special forces soldiers, assisted by Mossad agents, took down three PLO leaders (Kamal Adwan, Kamal Nasser, and Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar) and killed several more fedayeen fighters. The raid's purpose was to avenge the horrible Munich massacre of 1972.


Following the Munich massacre of September 1972, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir ordered "Operation Wrath of God", a Mossad operation that would see the terrorist leaders of the Black September Organization, PLO, and PFLP assassinated. Sayeret Matkal commander Ehud Barak gathered intelligence on a PLO safehouse in Beirut, Lebanon, where senior leaders Kamal Adwan, Kamal Nasser, and Muhammad Youssef al-Najjar were hiding with several fedayeen bodyguards. The Palestinians lived in two seven-story buildings in the wealthy Verdun district of West Beirut, and the Israelis decided to enter the city via speedboat and take out the leaders at their safehouses.

The elite Sayeret Matkal team dressed as tourists, with some members cross-dressing as women. They arrived in Beirut on speedboats launched from offshore missile boats, and they drove to their targets on the waterfront. The Sayeret Matkal commandoes used silenced pistols to take out the guards in front of the buildings before breaching and clearing the buildings, killing the terrorists inside before shooting at responding fedayeen as they left the buildings. As many as 100 PLO/PFLP members were killed, while only 2 Israelis were killed.

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