Entebbeby Iddo Netanyahu
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Operation Entebbe was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Special Forces of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) 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 and German terrorists and flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Shortly after landing, all non-Israeli passengers, except one French citizen, were released.
The IDF acted on intelligence provided by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. 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 planned. 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 102 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 thirty Soviet-built MiG-17s and MiG-21s of Uganda's air force were destroyed. A fourth hostage was killed by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital.
The rescue, named Operation Thunderbolt, is sometimes referred to retroactively as Operation Jonathan in memory of the unit's leader, Yonatan Netanyahu. He was the older brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, who served as the Prime Minister of Israel from 1996 to 1999 as well as since 2009.
The operation is widely considered one of the greatest and daring special forces operations in history considering the high risk nature of the commando raid, distance from home territory and casualty and hostage rescue ratio.
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Meet the Author
Iddo Netanyahu (born 1952 in Jerusalem, Israel) is an Israeli physician, author and playwright. He is the younger brother of Benjamin Netanyahu who is the current Prime Minister of Israel and Yonatan Netanyahu, who was killed leading the Operation Entebbe hostage rescue mission in 1976 and is considered a war hero.
Netanyahu spent part of his childhood in the United States. He left studies at Cornell University in 1973 to fight for Israel in the Yom Kippur War. At Cornell, he was pledging the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and was inducted into the Irving Literary Society before going to war, and accordingly was left on the rolls. He served in Sayeret Matkal, Israel's special forces unit, as did both his brothers.
He has an MD from Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Medicine and did post-doctoral training at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., and Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City. He works part time as a radiologist at St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell, New York , and resides most of the year in Israel, devoting his time to writing books and plays. He began writing while at Hebrew University. His play A Happy Ending has been produced in Italy by Compagnia dell'Attimo for the European Memorial Day 2008, and subsequently staged in Germany and Israel.
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A gripping retelling of the famous "Operation Entebbe!" A must read for any solider, military minded person or history buff.