MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova — Mike Harari, a legendary officer of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and an innovative mastermind of clandestine operations has passed away at age of 87.
"Anyone who had the privilege of knowing him, knew that he was a rare and ground-breaking man of operations, brave and creatively daring, whose influence on the Mossad and on generations of combatants is evident during these days and will continue to be so for many more years," said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, as cited by the Times of Israel.
Mike Harari was born in Tel Aviv on February 18, 1927 and his secret career began before the Israeli state was founded.
"In 1946, still shy of his 20th birthday, he [Mike Harari] was sent to Marseilles, where he was put in command of 1,300 displaced Holocaust survivors looking to illegally immigrate to Israel," writes the Times of Israel.
Arutz Sheva stresses that Harari "achieved near-mythological status" as commander of Mossad's most secret units, Caesarea and Kidon, known for carrying out assassination missions.
According to the media source, Mike Harari was a mastermind of the clandestine "anti-terror war" in Europe. Its goal was to kill those Palestinian militants Israel considered responsible for the 1972 Olympic terror assault in Munich, where 11 Israeli athletes were murdered. Arutz Sheva notes that it was Mike Harari, who assassinated Ali Hassan Salameh, the militants' leader.
The legendary officer was also known for his participation in "Operation Thunderbolt" in 1976. The brave Harari led a Caesarea unit in the Entebbe hostage-rescue mission together with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The hostages, hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, were held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. The carefully prepared military operation lasted for 90 minutes. All hostages were successfully released. Unfortunately, two IDF commandos – were killed during the operation.
The Mossad mastermind retired in 1980. However, he continued his work as CEO of a private security group. According to Arutz Sheva, Mike Harari consulted with Manuel Noriega, then-leader of Panama, about security issues.
"Most of Mike Harari's actions for the security of the state of Israel as a fighter and commander in the Mossad were not made known and will never be made known to the world, but whoever merited to know him knew he was a rare pioneer and man of action, of courageous heart and great strength and creativity, whose influence on the Mossad and on generations of fighters is discernible in our days and will remain for many years," Moshe Yaalon underscored, as cited by Arutz Sheva.