Yesterday's guerrilla attacks around the Israeli El Al airline desks at Rome and Vienna airports are the latest in a long line of strikes against targets associated with Israel.
Nearly all have been carried out by, or blamed on, Palestinian guerrillas or sympathizers who say they are fighting for the establishment of an autonomous Palestinian state. Israel said it believed Palestinians, probably from the Palestine Liberation Organization, were responsible for yesterday's attacks at Leonardo da Vinci and Schwechat airports. No group immediately claimed responsibility for either incident.
Some attacks have taken place on Israeli soil, others abroad against citizens, representatives or symbols of the state of Israel. There have also been attacks on targets unconnected to Israel aimed at securing the release of pro-Palestinian prisoners held in jails in Israel or around the world.
Following is a chronology of major attacks during the past 13 years:
*May 1972: Three Japanese guerrillas, recruited by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, opened fire on passengers at Tel Aviv's Lod Airport, killing 27 persons and wounding more than 70. Kozo Okamoto, the sole surviving gunman, was freed by Israel in May 1985 in a prisoner swap.
*September 1972: At the Munich Olympic Games, eight guerrillas of the Palestinian Black September group forced their way into Israeli team quarters, killing two Israelis and taking nine hostage. Israel refused their demand for the release of 200 Arab prisoners. Following a day of fruitless talks, all nine hostages, five gunmen and a West German policeman were killed in a shoot-out at a military airport.
*December 1973: Five Palestinian terrorists threw grenades at a Pan American Boeing 707 at Rome's international airport, and then hijacked a Lufthansa 737 to Athens and Kuwait. A total of 32 persons died.
*May 1974: In the worst of several attacks mounted from Lebanon on Israeli settlements, Palestinian guerrillas took over a school in Maalot. In the ensuing gun battle, 21 schoolchildren were among the dead.
*March 1975: Eight Palestinian guerrillas landed by boat on Tel Aviv beach and took a waterfront hotel. They set off a massive explosion as troops stormed the hotel and, after a gun battle, seven guerrillas, three soldiers and eight hostages died.
*June 1976: Pro-Palestinian guerrillas hijacked an Air France plane and forced the pilot to fly to Entebbe, Uganda, demanding the release of 53 prisoners in Israel, Kenya and Western Europe.
Israel appeared ready to bargain, and 100 hostages were freed. But in a predawn raid on July 4, Israeli commandos landed at Entebbe, freed the remaining hostages and flew back to Israel.
Seven guerrillas, 20 Ugandan soldiers, three hostages and an Israeli officer were among those killed in the airport battle.
*March 1978: An 11-strong group of guerrillas belonging to Al Fatah, a PLO faction, landed in Israel and ambushed two buses. One group clashed with police in a bloody shoot-out near Tel Aviv in which their hijacked bus burst into flames, trapping more than 20 passengers and three guerrillas. In all, nine guerrillas, 34 Israelis and one U.S. citizen died in the bus battle and related clashes.
*August 1981: A bomb exploded in the offices of El Al at the Rome airport, wounding two persons. The Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility.
*September 1985: Three pro-Palestinian gunmen killed three Israelis aboard a yacht near Larnaca, Cyprus, claiming they were intelligence agents. Israel, saying the three victims were tourists, retaliated by bombing PLO headquarters in Tunis, killing more than 60.
*October 1985: Four Palestinian guerrillas seized control of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in Egyptian waters, demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, Italy and elsewhere.
A crippled Jewish American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer of New York City, was killed and his body thrown into the sea. The hijackers surrendered after two days and were flown out of Egypt. The United States intercepted the plane that was carrying them, and they subsequently were jailed pending trial in Italy.
*November 1985: Palestinian hijackers seized an Egyptair flight leaving Athens for Cairo and diverted the plane to Malta. After demanding only fuel, the hijackers began killing passengers at 10-minute intervals. A team of about 25 Egyptian commandos stormed the plane, gaining access to the passenger area using an explosive. The hijackers threw grenades, and the commandos answered with a smoke bomb. The plane caught fire, and a gun battle ensued. A total of 59 persons died during the episode.