Photo : Entebbe Airport in 1976. The Old Entebbe airport is now used by Uganda's military forces and was the scene of a hostage rescue operation by Israeli Sayeret Matkal, dubbed Operation Entebbe, in 1976, after an Arab-German hijacking of Air France Flight 139 out of Tel Aviv. The scene of that particular rescue was "the old airport", which was recently demolished except for its control tower. The successful rescue, named Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to as OPERATION JONATHAN in memory of the unit's leader, Jonathan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, currently the Prime Minister of Israel.
Photo : The old tower of Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. Now used as part of the military facility at the airport. Photo by Wikipedia
Operation Entebbe : Operation Entebbe, also known as the Entebbe Raid or Operation Thunderbolt, was a counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the night of July 3 and early morning of July 4, 1976.
Photo : The black Mercedes of the fighters of 'Sayeret Matkal'. A black Mercedes with accompanying Land Rovers was taken along to give the impression that the Israeli troops driving from the landed aircraft to the terminal building were an escort for a returning Idi Amin or other high-ranking official. The Mercedes car was borrowed from an Israeli civilian and apparently spray-painted black for the raid, on the understanding that it would be returned to the owner in its original colour. The Mercedes and its escort vehicles were quickly driven by the Israeli assault team members to the airport terminal in the same fashion as Amin. However, along the way, two Ugandan sentries, who were aware that Idi Amin had recently purchased a white Mercedes to replace his black one, ordered this procession of vehicles to stop. Both of these sentries were immediately shot dead by the Israeli commandos. Fearing premature alerting of associates to the hijackers, the Israeli assault team was quickly sent into action.
In July 1976, Israeli commandos rescued hostages held for a week aboard a hijacked Air France plane at at Entebbe airport in Uganda. WIKIPEDIA : Hostage rescue The Israelis sprang from their vehicles and burst towards the terminal. The hostages were in the main hall of the airport building, directly adjacent to the runway. Upon entering the terminal, the commandos were shouting through a megaphone, "Stay down! Stay down! We are Israeli soldiers." in both Hebrew and English. (Photo by Independent.Co.UK)
Rescue plane takes off. (Photo: Yaakov Saar GPO / Ynet )
(KNESSET.GOV.IL) Operation Entebbe : was a rescue mission performed by several IDF units in Uganda – 4,000 kilometers from Israel – on July 4th 1976, for the liberation of 98 Jewish and Israeli hostages. On June 27th, an Air France aircraft was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists. The hijackers landed the plane at Benghazi, Libya and flew it from there to Entebbe in Uganda, where all non-Jewish passengers were freed. Israel had tried to develop a dialogue with Ugandan President Idi Amin, who collaborated with the terrorists. Simultaneously, preparations began for a military operation, based on intelligence regarding the situation in the Entebbe Airport. Following the Government’s decision to go forward with the plan, four transport aircrafts took off from Sharm el-Sheikh en route to Entebbe. The raid on the airport resulted in five Israeli casualties: IDF officer Yonatan (Yoni) Netanyahu (brother of MK and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu); Dora Bloch, an elderly woman hospitalized during the raid and murdered after the raid (her remains were returned to Israel in June 1979); Ida Borochovitch, Jean Jacques Maimoni, and Pasko Cohen were killed during the Operation. On the return flight, the planes landed in Nairobi, Kenya for refueling to attend to the fatally wounded with medical care. IDF Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur announced it at first as an emergency landing, but it seemed to have been coordinated with Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta. Various Arab countries and groups, the Communist Bloc, and many African countries condemned the Entebbe Operation and referred to it as a pirate act, while Western countries praised it. The United Nations’ Security Council did not conclude a resolution in this matter. Israel was in high spirits, and the operation improved the social atmosphere within the IDF. The operation was congruent with Israel’s policy not to negotiate with terrorists, whatever risks are at stake. On July 4th 1976, a festive plenum sitting was held in which the Government announced the liberation of the hostages in Uganda. Knesset Speaker, Yisrael Yeshayahu, before allowing the Prime Minister to speak, read from Psalms: "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good…". ( (Photo : KNESSET.GOV.IL)
Hostages return : Israeli hostages on their return to Israel after Operation Entebbe on 3rd July 1976, in which, Israeli special forces rescued 100 hostages held at Entebbe Airport in Uganda by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine following their hijack of Air France Flight 139. The raid also resulted in the deaths of all six hijackers, three hostages, 45 Ugandan soldiers and one Israeli soldier. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Hostages rescued after Entebbe operation. Israel News photo.
JOY AT RESCUE OF HOSTAGES : Operation Entebbe (Thunderbolt) was a hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on July 4, 1976. An Air France plane with 300 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and supporters. Shortly after landing, all non-Jewish passengers were released. Israeli transport planes carried 100 elite commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, lasted 90 minutes. 103 hostages were escued. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed. One IDF commander, Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, currently the Prime Minister of Israel. The operation is often referred to as “OPERATION JONATHAN.”
Photo : YONI NETANYAHU'S FUNERAL. (Yoni.Org.IL)
Jonathan Netanyahu's (hero of Entebbe) grave at Mr. Hertzl