June 27, 1976: An Air France jet containing 248 passengers (including a large contingent of Israelis) was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists after leaving Athens en route to Paris. The jet was forced to fly to Entebbe Airport in Uganda.
Uganda, under the dictatorial regime of Idi Amin, was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and supported the terrorists by supplying their own military troops. Non-Jewish passengers were allowed to leave with 85 Jewish passengers and 20 others (12 French crew members and others who refused to leave) held for a week at the airport.
Joe Levack Photo
The deployment sequence FOR a flash-bang is:
1. With the safety lever or “spoon” held down by the hand the pin is pulled
2. The operator visually clears the target area where the FNDD is to be tossed
3. When deployed, the lever is released and swings free
4. The striker impacts the precision primer
5. The delay element burns down to
the ignition mixture
6. The ignition mixture ignites the
July 4, 1976: An assault element of IDF (Israeli Defense Force) commandos led by Col. Yonatan Netanyahu (older brother of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) used a black Mercedes and land rovers to simulate Idi Amin’s motorcade as they rolled out of a C-130 at the airport. In the ensuing rescue operation—Operation Entebbe—all seven terrorists were killed as well as 45 Ugandan military personnel. Out of the 105 hostages, four were killed and 10 wounded. Sadly, Lt. Col. Netanyahu was shot and killed by a Ugandan sniper—the only task force member killed.
This daring rescue, where the tenets of speed, surprise, violence of action and accuracy of fire were epitomized, was also the first tactical use of flash-bang devices employed by a rescue force as a diversionary tool to aid their assault.