You may have seen the Charles Bronson movie about the Raid on Entebbe, but I bet you have NOT seen the fascinating youtube documentary video below (which I found through Joseph Wouk at the warsclerotic blog here:
“Operation Thunderbolt” was the code name for Israel’s 1976 commando raid on Entebbe, Uganda – after Palestinian terrorists landed an Air France flight with hundreds of hostages under the protective cover of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin’s willing cooperation. He was a media whore and wanted the world spotlight as he “negotiated” a compromise while Ugandan troops reinforced the Palestinian terrorists.
A few days later, Israeli commandos led by Yoni Netanyahu (their only casualty – the current Prime Minister’s older brother) successfully rescued over 100 Jewish hostages (non-Jews had already been released) – destroyed the Ugandan Mig fighter jets that might have followed their planes, and returned safely to Israel – almost 3,000 miles away. It was a great risk but proved to be a defining moment in Israeli history, proving not only that you can fight terrorism but that Israel was a force to be reckoned with, even thousands of miles away.
The Ugandan government supported the hijackers, and dictator Idi Amin personally welcomed them. After moving all hostages from the aircraft to a disused airport building, the hijackers separated all Israelis and several non-Israeli Jews from the larger group and forced them into a separate room. Over the following two days, 148 non-Israeli hostages were released and flown out to Paris. Ninety-four, mainly Israeli, passengers along with the 12-member Air France crew, remained as hostages and were threatened with death.
The IDF acted on information provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met. This threat led to the planning of the rescue operation. These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan troops.
The operation took place at night. Israeli transport planes carried 100 commandos over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) to Uganda for the rescue operation. The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. Of the remaining hostages, 102 were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, unit commander Lt. Col.Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages, and forty-five Ugandan soldiers were killed, and thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda’s air force were destroyed.
Kenyan sources supported Israel, and in the aftermath of the operation Idi Amin issued orders to retaliate and slaughter several hundred Kenyans present in Uganda.
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