Entebbe Raid Anniversary

Besides being US Independence Day, July 4th has a different significance for Israelis.

It is the anniversary of the raid on Entebbe.

On June 27, Air France Flight 139 departed Tel Aviv for Paris with a stop in Athens. Shortly after taking off from Greece, the plane was hijacked by two members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two Germans from the Revolutionary Cells. The terrorists directed the plane to land and refuel at Benghazi, Libya before continuing on to pro-Palestinian Uganda. Landing at Entebbe, the terrorists were reinforced by three more extremists and were welcomed by dictator Idi Amin.

After moving the passengers into the airport terminal, the terrorists released the majority of the hostages, keeping only the Israelis and Jews. The Air France air crew elected to remain behind with the captives. From Entebbe, the terrorists demanded the release of 40 Palestinians held in Israel as well as 13 others held around the world. If their demands were not met by July 1, they threatened to begin killing the hostages. On July 1, the Israeli government opened negotiations in order to gain more time. The following day a rescue mission was approved with Colonel Yoni Netanyahu in command.

On the night of July 3/4, four Israeli C-130 transports approached Entebbe under the cover of darkness. Landing, 29 Israeli commandos unloaded a Mercedes and two Land Rovers hoping to convince the terrorists that they were Amin or another high ranking Ugandan official. After being discovered by Ugandan sentinels near the terminal, the Israelis stormed the building, freeing the hostages and killing the hijackers. As they withdrew with the hostages, the Israelis destroyed 11 Ugandan MiG-17 fighters to prevent pursuit. Taking off, the Israelis flew to Kenya where the freed hostages were transferred to other aircraft.

In all, the Entebbe Raid freed 100 hostages. In the fighting, three hostages were killed, as well as 45 Ugandan soldiers and six terrorists. The only Israeli commando killed was Col. Netanyahu, who was hit by a Ugandan sniper. He was the older brother of future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story was recently released.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Travis

    Along with the Six Day War, the Entebbe Raid was the Jewish peoples finest hour.

  • Shy Guy

    It was the US Bicentennial, not just any other Independence Day. It stole the show. All over live TV that day. The Israel Naval ships docked on Manhattan’s West Side were swamped with 1000s of visitors and everyone was dancing and singing.

    ABC Evening News, with Harry Reasoner, July 5 1976

    • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

      Wow, thanks for that video. The footage of the hostages and their relatives celebrating after the successful operation gave me goosebumps.

    • Jim from Iowa

      It’s funny how memory works. I remember the bicentennial events (the parades, the tall ships, political speeches) and the raid on Entebbe, but not that they happened the same day. I think Americans really only focused on the events in Uganda and Israel the next day. This was before 24 hour cable news or the internet. The world has changed a lot since 1976. Like AussieDave producing a praise-worthy blog on Israel instead of consuming bizarre Japanese children’s television programming back in Australia.

      • Shy Guy

        The news of the raid first came in late July 4th afternoon, not in the morning. The Israelis landed in Entebbe around 11PM on July 4th. So, yes, most of the day passed by in celebration of Independence Day. But from the first news broadcasts, the end of the day changed entirely.

  • http://www.israellycool.com/ Aussie Dave

    Here’s Idi Amin’s reaction to the raid, by the way.

    Idi Amin’s first interview, full of reproach and self-justification, was given by telephone this morning to an Israeli reporter: “I am carrying in my arms the bodies of my soldiers who fell by your men’s bullets, and I believe you have done me a bad turn.”

    The Ugandan President rejected allegations that he had cooperated with the hijackers. “It had been my intention to act today for the release of the hostages,” he said. “Towards that end I brought forward my return from Mauritius. And all that’s left for me to do now is count the dead.”

    • ziontruth

      Quoting Idi Amin:

      “…and I believe you have done me a bad turn.”

      Said one among so many backstabbing African leaders who had received training in Israel, only to cut all ties in either 1967 or 1973 (one of the two wars used as a pretext). Amin, Mobutu… the list is quite long.

      It was a lesson for the Jewish State about the value of alliances. Unfortunately, the message has yet to sink in.

  • Travis

    Wow I now remember John Scali – he always was an arrogant scumbag.

  • Travis

    Thirty-six years ago – unbelievable!

  • Kibbutznik

    hey Shy Guy ,
    one of our kibbutz members was there on that day , both his sons are today members of elite units .
    where were you back then dude ?
    all left have we ??

    • Shy Guy

      I was in NY at the time. Regards from Jerusalem.

  • Kibbutznik

    ” I was in NY at the time. ”
    Thought as much .
    Regards from a Israeli thats never had the time or money or inclination to visit your homeland .

  • Kibbutznik

    you are very very shy Shy Guy
    regards again from an Israeli Left wing red boot wearer
    who named his first born son after “Yoni” Netanyahu
    my son is keva and Segen in Shaldag
    he is as Left wing as I am and as left wing as Rabin was
    all left have we ?
    dream on American.

    • Shy Guy

      Yes, I showed the same headline to my Tzanchan son earlier this morning. He just returned back to full civilian life this week.

      Otherwise, I really don’t understand why you are addressing me. I’ve known you to be left since you started posting here. Techadesh li!

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