Five Must Reads on Israel's Strike on Syria's Nuclear Reactor in 2007

Everything you need to know about Israel's attack on 'the Cube,' finally declassified by the military censor – the successes, the failures, the egos, the ramifications and the real fallout

A screenshot shows Israel's strike on Syrian President Bashar Assad's nuclear reactor in 2007.
Screenshot / YouTube

The audacious attack on a nuclear plant in northeast Syria was one of Israel's most hair-raising operations ever, yet it was also its biggest intelligence failure since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

Haaretz editor-in-chief Aluf Benn takes you behind the scenes of the 2007 strike on "the Cube," revealing the three major players who made it happen, American foot-dragging, and how close Israel came to war with Syria.

READ: No longer a secret: How Israel destroyed Syria's nuclear reactor

Israel's military operation in Syria also extended to the media, with fake news planted in the Israeli press and journalists warned off from covering the story. It took Israel a decade to admit it bombed its northern neighbor's reactor, but which prominent politician was the first to spill the beans? Haaretz reveals all. 

READ: Ten years of silence on Syria strike. Why now?

For years, Israeli intelligence boasted about its ability to track even the slightest shifts in Syria's military deployments, so how did President Bashar Assad manage to build a nuclear reactor under its nose? Senior military correspondent Amos Harel explains how it went unnoticed, and the fortuitous way Israeli intelligence finally uncovered Syria's secret.

READ: The intel failure: It took years for Israel to discover Syria's reactor

There are always two battles in any military action: the operation itself, and the subsequent fight to claim credit for its success. Two former prime ministers – Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak – were at the heart of the Syrian reactor attack, with their soon-to-be-published memoirs the catalyst for the ultimate easing of censorship. There's just one problem with their accounts, Anshel Pfeffer writes: their stories are entirely different.

READ: Two prime ministers' egos battle over the Syrian nuclear reactor strike

The Israeli policy of military ambiguity was born on September 6, 2007, proving a major turning point in Israel’s security, diplomatic and political history. Aluf Benn explores the unexpected consequences of the nuclear reactor attack – from Israel's defense policies to its ties to the United States.

READ: The real fallout from Israel's attack on the Syrian reactor