Editorial Reviews. About the Author. William Stevenson was born in Britain in He served. The incredible story of an Israeli mission that rescued hostages from a hijacked jetliner. On June 27, , Air France Flight was hijacked by terrorists and flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Operation Thunderbolt: Flight and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the. any authority from the Ugandan Government' at seven-minute For a detailed account on the facts see: William Stevenson, 90 Minutes at Entebbe: .. pdf> vol II, –
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90 minutes at Entebbe by Stevenson, William, , Bantam Books edition, in English. Operation Entebbe or Operation Thunderbolt was a successful counter-terrorist hostage-rescue The operation, which took a week of planning, lasted 90 minutes. .. Front for the Liberation of Palestine – Israeli Action to liberate Hostages held at Entebbe Airport " (PDF). Keesing's Record of World Events. 99 Minutes at Entebbe . helicopter landed at hrs and, within 30 minutes, 14 aircraft had been destroyed: . The assault had lasted just 90 seconds.
But it was now clear Entebbe had not been chosen by accident: Amin and his regime were colluding with the hijackers. Round and round they went. For the Davidsons and the others, every minute felt like a week, every day like a lifetime. Herded together and frightened, speaking only in whispers, they were watched over at gunpoint. And then, on the fifth day, came the separation.
The hijackers, in a plan agreed with Amin, divided Israelis from non-Israelis, gathering the former in the transit hall, the latter elsewhere. The non-Israeli group were soon released and flown to Paris.
But included in the group kept behind were some Jews who were not Israeli. The [hijackers] just pushed them to the other room, which we called the Israeli room.
The fact that these orders were issued in German accents stirred a painful memory. And here they were, being selected by a German woman and a German man.
Bacos and his team were offered freedom, but refused it: they felt it was their duty to stay with their passengers. Time slowed to a crawl.
No clothes to change into. No water. Near the south outlet of the Red Sea the Cs turned south and passed south of Djibouti. From there, they went to a point northeast of Nairobi, Kenya, likely across Somalia and the Ogaden area of Ethiopia.
90 minutes at Entebbe
Two Boeing jets followed the cargo planes. The commander of the operation, General Yekutiel Adam, was on board the second Boeing, which circled over Entebbe Airport during the raid. The Israeli forces landed at Entebbe on 3 July at Because the proper layout of the airport was not known, the first plane almost taxied into a ditch. The Israelis hoped they could use them to bypass security checkpoints.
When the Cs landed, Israeli assault team members drove the vehicles to the terminal building in the same fashion as Amin. The Israelis left their vehicles and ran towards the terminal. The hostages were in the main hall of the airport building, directly adjacent to the runway. Entering the terminal, the commandos shouted through a megaphone, "Stay down! Stay down! We are Israeli soldiers," in both Hebrew and English.
Jean-Jacques Maimoni, a year-old French immigrant to Israel, stood up and was killed when Israeli company commander Muki Betzer and another soldier mistook him for a hijacker and fired at him.
At first he pointed his Kalashnikov rifle at hostages, but "immediately came to his senses" and ordered them to find shelter in the restroom, before being killed by the commandos. At one point, an Israeli commando called out in Hebrew, "Where are the rest of them? Then, they entered the room and shot dead the three remaining hijackers, ending the assault.
The Israelis then destroyed Ugandan MiG fighter planes to prevent them from pursuing, and conducted a sweep of the airfield to gather intelligence. After the raid, the Israeli assault team returned to their aircraft and began loading the hostages. Ugandan soldiers shot at them in the process. The Israeli commandos returned fire with their AK47s ,  inflicting casualties on the Ugandans.
During this brief but intense firefight, Ugandan soldiers fired from the airport control tower. At least five commandos were wounded, and the Israeli unit commander Yonatan Netanyahu was killed.
Israeli commandos fired light machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade back at the control tower, suppressing the Ugandans' fire. According to one of Idi Amin's sons, the soldier who shot Netanyahu, a cousin of the Amin family, was killed in the return fire.
All seven hijackers present, and between 33 and 45 Ugandan soldiers, were killed. The rescued hostages were flown to Israel via Nairobi, Kenya, shortly after the raid. Dora Bloch, a year-old Israeli who also held British citizenship, was taken to Mulago Hospital in Kampala after choking on a chicken bone.
Uganda killed Kenyans, including airport staff at Entebbe. To avoid massacre, approximately 3, Kenyans fled Uganda as refugees. Western nations spoke in support of the raid. West Germany called the raid "an act of self-defence".
Switzerland and France praised the operation. Representatives of the United Kingdom and United States offered significant praise, calling the Entebbe raid "an impossible operation".
Some in the United States noted that the hostages were freed on 4 July , years after the signing of the US declaration of independence.
90 Minutes at Entebbe
The Norfolk hotel in Nairobi , owned by a prominent member of the local Jewish community , was bombed on 31 December The bomb flattened the hotel, killing 20 people, of several nationalities, and wounding 87 more. It was believed to be an act of revenge by pro-Palestinian militants for Kenya's supporting role in Operation Entebbe. In the ensuing years, Betser and the Netanyahu brothers — Iddo and Benjamin , all Sayeret Matkal veterans — argued in increasingly public forums about who was to blame for the unexpected early firefight that caused Yonatan's death and partial loss of tactical surprise.
As a result of the operation, the United States military developed rescue teams modelled on the unit employed in the Entebbe rescue. In a letter dated 13 July , the Supreme Commander's Staff of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces praised the Israeli commandos for the mission and extended condolences for "the loss and martyrdom" of Netanyahu. In August , Uganda and Israel commemorated the raid at a sombre ceremony at the base of a tower at the Old Entebbe Airport, where Yonatan Netanyahu was killed.
Uganda and Israel renewed their commitment to "fight terrorism and to work towards humanity". The flags of Uganda and Israel waved side by side, demonstrating the two countries' strong bilateral relations, next to a plaque bearing a history of the raid. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the conflict between Tanzanian and combined Libyan and Ugandan forces, see Battle of Entebbe. Entebbe Airport , Uganda. Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon.
Tel Aviv. The old terminal building of the Entebbe International Airport as seen from the air. Uganda portal France portal Israel portal Aviation portal.
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Retrieved 27 February Episode one".On 29 June, after Ugandan soldiers had opened an entrance to a room next to the crowded waiting hall by destroying a separating wall, the hijackers separated the Israelis including those holding dual citizenship from the other hostages [nb 2] and told them to move to the adjoining room. You get used to being a hostage. Uganda killed Kenyans, including airport staff at Entebbe. A little detached but interesting nonetheless.
He said that a French-Jewish passenger who had a military background and "a phenomenal memory" provided detailed information about the number of weapons carried by the hostage-takers.
It is not so well-known outside of Israel, but I think most readers will find this book hard to put down. The flags of Uganda and Israel waved side by side, demonstrating the two countries' strong bilateral relations, next to a plaque bearing a history of the raid. Because the proper layout of the airport was not known, the first plane almost taxied into a ditch.
For me, this was the intriguing conundrum. Canada's Worst Disaster.