THE MOSSAD’s most spectacular failure has been a mission carried out in Amman, Jordan, in September 1997. Two Mossad agents disguised as Canadian tourists tried to kill Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal with a lethal nerve toxin which soaks through the skin.
The attack failed and Meshaal’s bodyguards were able to chase down the agents and hand them over to the Jordanian police.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was then forced to admit to the deed to get his agents back safely.
He flew to Amman and apologised before the brother of King Hussein – as the king did not want to meet with him in person.
After difficult negotiations, Israel handed over the antidote to the nerve agent that had been administered to Meshaal as well as the chemical make-up of the opiate, which had allegedly been used in previous operations.
In addition, Israel was also forced to release from custody Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and dozens of other Palestinians and Jordanians.
In the end, an official investigation concluded that The Mossad had been “fixated on high risk operations”.
The botched attack was a blemish on The Mossad’s reputation. But it just made them more careful in their killings in the future.