IDF Rescues 4 Hostages in One of the Most Daring Missions in Israel’s History

by Phil Schneider

Israel just pulled off a modern-day Entebbe Operation. For those who are too young or too uneducated to know what that is, on July 4, 1976, the very same day that the United States of America celebrated it’s Bicentennial, Israel shocked the world. The brave elite Israeli Armed Forces flew deep into Africa in order to rescue more than 100 Jewish hostages that Arab and German terrorists hijacked from an Air France plane. They were all freed, though a few were killed in the rescue operation.

The Raid on Entebbe, Uganda, was led by the older brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yonatan Netanyahu. He was a 30-year old Harvard educated commander of an elite unit in Israel. Amazingly, he was the only Israeli soldier that was killed in the rescue operation that became known as Operation Thunderbolt. 

This time, Israel shocked the world again. It was probably more complex this time, but it was right in Israel’s backyard. There were no storms over Lake Victoria that had to be dealt with. But the main aspect of Israel’s shocking rescue will probably be all of the confusion in the area surrounding the rescue operation which allowed Israel to create the smokescreen for the attack.

One of the more fascinating facts about the rescue is that it did not go that smoothly. Some of the armored personnel carriers that were used in the rescue operation broke down in the middle of the operation. The ability to switch gears in the middle of a carefully planned attack is extremely impressive. Israel’s Armed Forces have been improvising and learning from mistakes for many months of fighting in Gaza. Actually, it has been part of the DNA of Israel’s Armed Forces for many decades. 

Careful planning, improvising, and learning from mistakes all together create an excellent recipe for success. But more than all of those, it is the dedication and willingness to sacrifice their lives that are the true hallmarks of success of the Israeli Armed Forces.

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