Operation Entebbe, also known as the Entebbe Raid or Operation Thunderbolt, was a counter-terrorism hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on the night of July 3 and early morning of July 4, 1976. In the wake of the hijacking of Air France flight 139 and the hijackers' threats to kill the hostages if their prisoner release demands were not met, a plan was drawn up to airlift the hostages to safety. These plans took into account the likelihood of armed resistance from Ugandan military troops.
Originally codenamed Operation Thunderbolt (or Operation Thunderball) by the IDF, the operation was retroactively renamed Operation Yonatan in memory of the Sayeret Matkal commander Lieutenant Colonel Yonatan "Yoni" Netanyahu who was killed in action. Three hostages were killed and five Israeli commandos were wounded. A fourth hostage was murdered by Ugandan army officers at a nearby hospital. (more...)