Yoni's Last Battle: The Rescue At Entebbe, 1976

By Iddo Netanyahu, Yoram Hazoni

On four July 1976 over 100 hostages, held at gunpoint in Entebbe, Uganda, have been freed in a astonishing rescue operation and flown to security in Israel, over 2000 miles away. Their captors have been Arab and German terrorists, aided via the Ugandan military; their liberators have been participants of Israel's elite commando unit, Sayeret Matkal, easily referred to as "the Unit". Lieutenant-Colonel Yoni (Jonathan) Netanyahu, the Unit's commander, earned world-wide status within the wake of the operation's wonderful luck. He used to be the single Israeli soldier killed within the Entebbe raid.

As a brother of the rescue force's commander, and himself a member of the Unit, Iddo Netanyahu had prepared entry to the contributors within the raid. He was once capable of receive particular bills from the boys of the Unit who, for the 1st time, defined the making plans and arrangements for the undertaking and its near-perfect execution. What emerged from their debts is a strong and stirring tale of the way the bold project used to be comprehensive after in simple terms forty eight hours of frantic arrangements. This publication portrays the lads who performed a really damaging operation in far-away Africa. principally, it depicts the heroic—and tragic—figure in their commander, Yoni.

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They shouted. David, who had located himself as deliberate subsequent to the most front to the big corridor, became his head towards the shout. He observed the wounded guy sprawled at the flooring a couple of yards away and got here instantly. David’s rule used to be by no means to depart a wounded guy the place he had fallen, and he dragged Yoni, who used to be subconscious, toward the construction, at the back of a low wall. the hot position, too, just like the remainder of the doorway plaza, was once nonetheless uncovered to fireplace from the keep an eye on tower. David heard Muki attempting to bring up Yoni at the radio.

Shaul used to be at a loss what to reply to. yet Adam’s order were conducted, no matter if it had now not precisely long gone down the correct chain of command. the 1st hostages reached the Hercules shipping presently after Yoni did. The scientific workforce used to be nonetheless engaged on resuscitating Yoni through the ramp of the airplane, and the dazed hostages trampled previous them on their means into the carry. yet that minor disturbance now not made a distinction in Yoni’s situation. the 2 medical professionals stopped their efforts. Yoni had slipped from existence, and there has been no technique to convey him again.

It used to be pointed out numerous instances as an issue spot,” says Avi. “But it was once transparent that we couldn’t start the motion through storming or attacking the tower. as a substitute, we talked by way of a strength that might have the capacity to pin down someone within the tower instantly, while the construction was once being stormed, if there has been hearth from above. If we had all started the opposite direction and given the Ugandans and the terrorists caution by means of starting hearth early, i feel it should have triggered critical harm. We made the choice with out feeling reliable approximately it.

If the Ugandans behind schedule the rescue strength for even a minute or , it'll provide the terrorists sufficient time to gain that an operation was once underway and to bloodbath their prisoners. It used to be visible to Yoni typical, frontal attack, within which the strength could hit the belt of Ugandans first and holiday via it, may alert the terrorists and can spark resistance that may continue the Unit from achieving the hostages in time. What’s extra, if the safety belt have been certainly so significant, a frontal attack through the small Israeli strength will be particularly harmful.

It was once an identical officer I’d heard disparaging Yoni a 12 months prior whilst I’d come to the unit for the change-of-command rite. towards night, whilst the officials and infantrymen have been approximately to head domestic, the Unit’s new commander, Amiram Levine, passed Amitzur a pouch from Yoni’s ammo vest, choked with grenades. One or were punctured by means of bullets from the burst that had hit Yoni at Entebbe, and needed to be exploded. Amitzur took a demolition block and went out into an open box. the material version of the outdated terminal that the warriors had stormed the day gone by below Yoni’s course had already been dismantled.

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