| 28 December 1968|
| 2000–06 Shebaa Farms co, Palestinian insurgency in South, Operation Wooden Leg, Samu Incident, 1973 Israeli raid on Leban|
The 1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon, code-named Operation Gift (Hebrew: מבצע תשורה), was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Special Forces operation at the Beirut International Airport in the evening of December 28, 1968. The operation was in response to the attack on the Israeli Airliner El Al Flight 253 two days earlier by the Lebanon-based Palestinian militant organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
The commandos from the Israeli army's elite Sayeret Matkal destroyed 12 passenger airplanes1) belonging to Middle East Airlines (MEA) and Lebanese International Airways (LIA) and two cargo planes belonging to Trans Mediterranean Airways (TMA).
There were no casualties reported in the raid.
1) references differ; less reliable reports quote a total of 13 aircraft
1968 Israeli raid on Lebanon Wikipedia
Of the 14 aircraft destroyed, eight (i.e. one Vickers VC-10 (on lease from Ghana Airways), one Boeing 707-320C, 2 Caravelle VIN, 3 Comet 4C and 1 Vickers Viscount) belonged to MEA, which was 30% owned by Air France, 5% by Lebanese individuals and 65% by the Intra Investment Company. Intra was an inter-governmental corporation constituted by the Kuwaiti, Qatari, Lebanese and American governments. The US was represented by the Commodity Credit Corporation which was owed money by Intra Bank, the predecessor of Intra Company, for wheat sales.
Lebanese International Airways owned four (i.e. 2 Douglas DC-7 and 2 Convair 990 Coronado) of the destroyed aircraft which were 58% American owned.
Trans-Mediterranean Airways lost two planes (i.e. 1 Douglas DC-4 and 1 Douglas DC-6) owned by private Lebanese individuals.
The total value of the planes was estimated to be $43.8 million of which British insurers initially agreed to pay $18 million, excluding all policies which did not cover acts of war.