Entebbe: 35 Years Ago Today


entebbeIt was 35 years ago today. While the terrorists of the world and their supporters recognize and celebrate suicide bombers and child murderers, the Jewish people are different – they value life.

Operation Entebbe was a hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israeli army at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. A week earlier, on 27 June, an Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists and supporters and flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Only the Jews were held captive as, shortly after landing, all non-Jewish passengers were released.

A mock version of the airport was built in Israel where the soldiers trained. The Mercedes Benz automobiles driven by Ugandan leader Idi Amin Dada’s entourage who visited the terrorists regularly were imitated and used on the mission itself. The success of the attempt was crucial. In the wake of the hijacking by members of the militant organizations Revolutionary Cells and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, along with the hijackers’ threats to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met, the rescue operation was a necessity. These plans included preparation for armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.
The operation took place at night, as 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 and 103 hostages were rescued. Five Israeli commandos were wounded and one, the commander, Lt Col Yonatan Netanyahu, was killed. All the hijackers, three hostages and 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed, and 11 Soviet-built MiG-17s of Uganda’s air force were destroyed. A fourth hostage was murdered by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital.

The rescue, named Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to as Operation Jonathan in memory of the unit’s leader, Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel. As a result of the operation the United States military developed highly-trained rescue teams modeled on the Entebbe rescue.

{Five Towns Jews Times/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I remember the miraculous rescue and how we celebrated upon hearing the news. I also learn daily with a close friend who was one of the heroic rescuers. But Matzav is remiss in not mentioning thanks is due to the RBSH”O for allowing this rescue to happen without a hitch. So many things could have gone wrong…and didn’t. “Kochi V’Otzem Yadi” can creep into our thoughts at any time.

  2. Oh do I remember this. What nissim! You can see yad hashem in all of it, but the Israeli army was busy boasting kochi veotzem yodi.

  3. i think this was a watershed event for israel and the rest of the world

    1 don’t mess with israel
    2 if you do look out you are no match for the JEWS

    but now more info has come out and i believe
    3 – 5 JEWISH lives were lost

  4. “Igros Moshe(Y.D. 4:8.2):Concerning the matter of the Jews who were hijacked in Uganda and then were saved by [Israeli] soldiers who went to Uganda. It is reasonable that this should be considered an open miracle. That is because in the normal course of events it would not be possible that such a thing be successful. Whatever is done in the world is only by the hand of G‑d – whether it is for the good or whether it is – G‑d forbid – ! the opposite. He causes the blow and the cure. He caused that these Jews be captured. But He also caused that they were rescued by means of giving these soldiers special courage and motivation so that they were able to save the captives. He also arranged circumstances so the soldiers in fact were successful. Nevertheless the reasons that G‑d did a miracle through sinners are hidden from us. Furthermore it is prohibited for any man to be “wise” and raise question against G‑d’s actions. Rather it is necessary for us to be innocent and accepting whatever G‑d does as it explicity says in the Torah (Devarim 18:13)”