View Full Version : IDF, Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu, Entebbe Raid

08-21-2009, 11:42 AM
The Israeli forces landed at Entebbe an hour before midnight, with their cargo bay doors already open. A black Mercedes and accompanying Land Rovers were 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 Amin, or other high-ranking official. 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. 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. The commandos shot at the sentries with silenced pistols, missing both of them. As they pulled away, an Israeli commando in one of the Land Rovers that followed the Mercedes noticed that they had failed to eliminate the sentries and immediately killed them with a burst from his Kalashnikov. Fearing premature alerting of associates to the hijackers, the assault team was quickly sent into action.

The Israelis sprang from their vehicles and burst towards the terminal. During this brief but intense moment, Commander Yonatan Netanyahu was fatally wounded, possibly by a Ugandan sniper in the airport control tower. He was the only Israeli commando killed in the operation. 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. A 19-year-old French Jew named Jean-Jacques Maimoni—who chose to identify himself as an Israeli Jew to the hijackers even though he had a French passport—stood up, but was killed by the Israeli commandos, who mistook him for a hijacker. Another hostage, Pasco Cohen, 52, manager of an Israeli medical insurance fund, was also fatally wounded by gunfire, either from the hijackers or accidentally by the Israeli commandos. In addition, a third hostage, 56-year-old Ida Borochovitch, a Russian Jew who had emigrated to Israel, was killed in the crossfire.
A C-130 Hercules in front of old terminal after arriving with food and supplies for the Rwandan refugee camps in 1994

At one point, an Israeli commando called out in Hebrew, "Where are the rest of them?", referring to the hijackers.The hostages pointed to a connecting door of the airport's main hall, into which the Israeli commandos threw several hand grenades. They then entered the room and shot dead the three remaining hijackers, thus completing their assault. Meanwhile, the other three C-130 Hercules had landed and unloaded armoured personnel carriers, which were to be used for defense during the anticipated hour of refuelling, for the destruction of Ugandan jet fighters at the airport so as to prevent them from pursuing the Israelis after their departure from Entebbe Airport, and for intelligence-gathering.

After the raid, the Israeli assault team returned to their aircraft and began loading the hostages on board. Ugandan soldiers shot at them in the process. The Israeli commandos returned fire, killing many Ugandan soldiers. The Israelis finished the loading, loaded Netanyahu's body into one of the aeroplanes, and then left Entebbe Airport. The entire operation lasted 53 minutes—of which the assault lasted only 30 minutes, and all eight hijackers were killed. At least five other Israeli commandos were wounded. Out of the 105 hostages, three were killed and approximately 10 were wounded. A total of 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed during the raid, and about 11 Ugandan Army Air Force MiG-17 fighter planes were destroyed on the ground at Entebbe Airport. The rescued hostages were flown to Israel via Nairobi, Kenya, shortly after the fighting.

Dora Bloch, a 75-year-old hostage taken to Mulago Hospital in Kampala, was murdered by the Ugandan government, as were some of her doctors and nurses for apparently trying to intervene. In April 1987, Henry Kyemba, Uganda's Attorney General and Minister of Justice at the time, told the Uganda Human Rights Commission that Bloch had been dragged from her hospital bed and murdered by two army officers on Idi Amin's orders.Bloch's remains were recovered near a sugar plantation 20 miles (32 km) east of Kampala in 1979, after the Ugandan–Tanzanian War led to the end of Amin's rule.


Israeli firms were often involved in building projects in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s. One reason the raid was so well-planned was that the building in which the hostages were being held was built by Solel Boneh, an Israeli construction firm, which still had the blueprints, and supplied them to the government of Israel. Additionally, Mossad built an accurate picture of the whereabouts of the hostages, the number of militants and the involvement of Ugandan troops from the released hostages in Paris. While planning the military operation, the Israeli army built a partial replica of the airport terminal with the help of some Israeli civilians who were involved in building the actual terminal. A very high level of secrecy was maintained, and the civilian contractors who had built the replica were detained as "guests" of the military until the rescue was declared a success.

According to a 5 July 2006, Associated Press interview with raid organizer "Muki" Betser, Mossad operatives extensively interviewed the hostages who had been released.[ As a result, another source of information was a French-Jewish passenger who had been mistakenly released with the non-Jewish hostages. Betser reports that the man had military training and "a phenomenal memory," allowing him to give information about the number and arms of the hostage-takers, among other useful details.

In the week prior to the raid, Israel had tried a number of political avenues to obtain the release of the hostages. Many sources indicate that the Israeli cabinet was prepared to release Palestinian prisoners if a military solution seemed unlikely to succeed. A retired IDF officer, Baruch "Burka" Bar-Lev, had known Idi Amin for many years and was considered to have a strong personal relationship with him. At the request of the cabinet he spoke with Amin on the phone many times, attempting to obtain the release of the hostages, without success.

08-21-2009, 11:43 AM
Thanks to Yoni for submitting him

08-24-2009, 02:23 AM
great and epic read