07 in June 1981 | The bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor

In order to prevent Iraq from continuing the development of nuclear weapons, and after diplomatic efforts failed to stop Saddam Hussein’s plot, the Israeli government decided to destroy the nuclear reactor being built in Osirak, which was close to completion. The decision was preceded by many discussions and in-depth talks with the security officials on the prospects of success of such a bold operation. On June 7, 1981, two sets of four F-16 plains left Etzion Base and headed toward Iraq. The reactor had been totally destroyed and all the pilots flew out safely. After the Israeli government took responsibility for the operation, it was criticized both domestically and from the international community; the US even went so far as to delay for several months the supply of F-16 aircrafts to the Israeli Air Force. Begin, however, viewed the attack a rescue operation for the Children of Israel. In later years it became more widely accepted that the destruction of the reactor was also vital to ensure the security of the entire Western world.

צלם: חנניה הרמן, באדיבות לע"מ