Yesterday marked 40 years since Israeli commandos carried out an operation to rescue more than 100 hostages being held by terrorists at an airport in Entebbe, Uganda. During the raid, Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu - brother of PM Benjamin Netanyahu - was killed. Israel Hayom's Boaz Bismuth reports that the Prime Minister, on a diplomatic trip to Africa this week, attended a memorial service in Entebbe:
"I am moved standing here as the prime minister of Israel, in this place that brought endless pride to our soldiers, to the IDF and to our nation," Netanyahu said in a speech he delivered at the ceremony. "I am moved standing here, in the place where IDF soldiers liberated the hostages in the heart of Africa, thousands of kilometers from Israel, with the commanders and soldiers who took part in the operation.
"I am moved standing here with the relatives of Jean-Jacques Mimouni, Ida Boruhovitch, Pasco Cohen and Dora Bloch, who lost their lives at Entebbe. I am moved standing here in this place, right in the place where my brother Yoni, commander of the Sayeret Matkal, was killed while leading the force that stormed the old terminal, overcame the terrorists and freed the hostages."
The old building where the hostages were held still stands, but a new terminal now serves the airport at Entebbe, which lies a few miles from the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
Some of the Israeli soldiers involved in the July 1976 raid attended Monday's ceremony.
"Here, where the old terminal stood, our brethren were held hostage by cruel terrorists, and this is where our soldiers came to rescue them in a brilliant mission that is almost unparalleled in history," Netanyahu said. "Entebbe is always with me, in my thoughts, in my consciousness and deep in my heart.
"The hijacking of the Air France plane to Entebbe touched a raw nerve with the people of Israel. Thirty-one years after the Holocaust, Jews again had to undergo a separation of Jews and non-Jews by those who wanted to kill us. The terrorists freed the hostages of other nationalities, but they condemned the Jews to the terror of death..."