Operation Mural was a clandestine effort headed by Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, to facilitate the emigration of Jewish Moroccan children to Israel.
After gaining independence from France in 1956, the Moroccan government restricted Jewish emigration out of the country. In response, the Israeli government tasked Mossad with facilitating such emigration, using clandestine means. The Mossad initially organized illegal departures by boats, but that effort came to a halt in 1961 after the Egoz disaster, in which a ship carrying 44 immigrants capsized, drowning all passengers.
A new approach was then implemented: Working with the Swiss-based NGO Œuvre de secours aux enfants – the Organization for the Rescue of Children – an offer was made to the Moroccan government to take Moroccan children on a vacation in Switzerland. Mossad agents then worked in the Jewish community to find families interested in emigration. Once there, the Jewish children would be flown to Israel instead of returning to Morocco.
David Littman volunteered for this humanitarian mission, believing that he was working for the Jewish Agency – in reality he was assisting the Mossad to evacuate Jewish children from Morocco. At the time, Moroccan Jews were prohibited from leaving the country.
From March–July 1961, posing with his wife and baby daughter as Christians, the 27-year-old Littman ran the Casablanca office of the Geneva-based international NGO for children Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants de l'Afrique du Nord (OSSEAN). Littman's code name was "Mural", and the code name for the mission was "Operation Mural".
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