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Today in History: Tofet and Assota

In 1968, the IDF launched two operations in Jordan: Operation Tofet and Operation Assota.

The operations were carried out due to the intolerable strategic situation created in the Jordan Valley following its occupation from Jordan in the Six-Day War a year earlier (along with the rest of Judea and Samaria): The repeated infiltrations and shelling of the Palestinian terrorist organizations, which established real military bases on the Jordanian side of the border, resulted in military and civilian casualties (and the myths of the “land of the chases”), and another front in the war of attrition. After an attack on a bus in early March 1968 on the Arava road, the government authorized the IDF to embark on raids (a brigade each) on Yasser Arafat’s Fatah bases. The raids were divided into 2: Operation Tofet on the Karama camp north of the Dead Sea, and Operation Assota on Wadi a nun to the south. Operation Assuta went well, and more than 50 terrorists were killed; but the Karama operation was met with difficulties, and a real battle developed, which ended without a decision, with more than 30 IDF casualties and over 200 terrorists and Jordanians killed. The actions were met with mixed reviews and confusion in Israel, and had a large impact on the Palestinians.

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