Wide Angle

History : 1965, when the Mossad helped Morocco murder Ben Barka

Relations between King Hassan II and the Mossad services continue to make headlines in the Arab world. This time, it is «Assafir», Lebanon’s most famous newspaper that translated another article of Yedioth Ahronoth, which interviewed Meit Amir, the former director of the Mossad services in the 60s. The latter has given a detailed description of the Mossad’s involvement in the kidnapping and assassination of Mehdi Ben Barka.

1965, when the Mossad helped Morocco to murder Mehdi Ben Barka./Ph. DR
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Yedioth Ahronoth, a national daily newspaper published in Tel Aviv, has published in 2015 a set of new information on the murder of Mehdi Ben Bakra, a politician, head of the left-wing National Union of Popular Forces (UNPF) and secretary of the Tricontinental Conference who was abducted in October 1965. The Israeli newspaper had interviewed Meit Amir, the former head of the Mossad services who suggested that Levi Eshkol, former Israeli Prime Minister had helped the Moroccan regime to get rid of one of its famous opponents.

Mohamed Oufkir, a senior military officer and his successor Ahmed Dlimi both demanded the Mossad to be committed throughout the operation as a way of rewarding Morocco for its previous services to Israel, during the famous Arab League meeting in September 1965 in Casablanca.

Locate Ben Barka

Although Echkol did not trust Morocco, the Israelis couldn't afford to lose an «ally» in the Arab World and had reluctantly agreed, according to Amir’s account, to help the Moroccan services. First, they both had to locate Mehdi Ben Barka in Europe. A mission that the men of both Oufkir and Dlimi couldn’t fulfill.

Successfully, the Mossad services managed to find King Hassan II opponent. In fact the Israelis had got their hands on a post office box in Geneva where Ben Barka received issues of the British magazine «The Jewish Observer». The Mossad agents then gave the address to the Dlimi-Oufkir men. Moroccans then had to keep an eye on the place and wait for the arrival of Ben Barka.

Once the first step was completed, the Moroccan side wanted to accelerate in performing the plan. On the 25th of October, 1965, four days before the murder of Ben Barka, Meit Amir visited Rabat. Ahmed Dlimi seized the opportunity to ask the head of the Mossad for more : namely false number plates, cars and fake passports. A French journalist working for the Moroccan services had managed to convince Mehdi Ben Barka to meet him on the 29th of October 1965 in brasserie Lipp in Paris.

A few meters away from the coffee shop, two fake French policemen arrested Ben Barka and took him to an apartment. After two days of torture and interrogation, Ben Barka died. The Mossad section in Paris then had to assist the men of Dlimi to get rid of the body. They have buried the corpse - or at least what was left of it - in a forest. Three years after the assassination, the French built a road in the same place, reports the Israeli newspaper, but they failed to locate the remains of Ben Barka.

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