World News

Timeline: Israeli military operations abroad

(Reuters) - The Obama administration has boosted U.S. defense ties to Israel and will close ranks with its ally against any threat from a nuclear-armed Iran, Vice President Joe Biden said ahead of his arrival in Israel Monday.

Biden is widely expected to caution his hosts in private not to attack Iran pre-emptively while world powers pursue fresh sanctions against Tehran to curb its nuclear program.

Here is a short timeline of Israeli military strikes abroad.

July 4, 1976 -- Israeli commandos fly out to Entebbe, Uganda, to rescue airline passengers held by pro-Palestinian guerrillas after an Air France Airbus was hijacked. The raid was an overall success with 102 passengers rescued. Five Palestinians and two German hijackers, including a woman, died during the fighting that lasted 53 minutes. Yonatan Netanyahu, the current prime minister’s brother, who led the raid, was killed.

June 2, 1981 - Israeli F-16 jets bomb Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak. President Reagan heard about it only after the fact, and told his national security adviser: “Boys will be boys!.” But the Americans were publicly censorious of the strike on Saddam Hussein’s facility, holding up arms exports to Israel.

October 1, 1985 - Israeli jets bomb PLO headquarters in Tunis, killing more than 60 people. United States abstains from a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the attack.

September 7, 2007 - Israeli jets bomb an installation in northern Syria which, months later, Washington calls a nascent nuclear reactor. Syria denies that. Israel is silent. An Israeli security source tells Reuters that Israel had let Americans know “in general terms” that it had the facility in its sights. January 2009 - Israeli warplanes were suspected in the bombing of an arms convoy in Sudan during Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza, Sudanese officials say. The Khartoum government later says 119 people were killed. Neither Israel, which charges Iranian-funded arms for Gaza pass through Sudan, nor the United States, have commented.

January 2010 - A Hamas leader involved in procuring arms was killed in a Dubai hotel. Local police say Israel was behind the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Israel has neither confirmed nor denied charges that its Mossad intelligence service was involved.