On the night before the holiday of Shavuot 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin shocked his cabinet by announcing they would be launching a surprise attack called “Operation Opera” on a nuclear reactor in Iraq, known as Osirak.

Should the operation fail, the lives of four million Israelis would be at risk, however Begin chose to go ahead with the plan. Despite the large criticism Israel faced in the aftermath, Operation Opera was successful in protecting Israel and preventing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from building nuclear weapons.