Talk:Operation Entebbe

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Former good article Operation Entebbe was one of the Warfare good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Number of casualties among hostages / Number of destroyed aircrafts[edit]

How many hostages died? In the third paragraph it says three, but the table on the right says 4. Same for the aircrafts. The sentence in question lists 30 Migs while the table says 11. I came here after watching a documentary about the incident, which also said that the Ugandan airforce that consisted of 11 Migs was completely destroyed. Since the documentary consisted of interviews with the former commandos and hostages, including original footage, I rather trust the table that supports the numbers stated in the documentary than that contradicting sentence. I suppose it stems from an unreliable source or was misinterpreted, but I neither have the book in question nor any other source other than said documentary. Can someone clear that up? 93.128.174.237 (talk) 20:33, 7 June 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 93.128.174.237 (talk) 20:30, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

How many hostages died: I just changed the table on the right, and provided 2 reliable source. The number 4 may come from including Dora Bloch, however, she did not die in the operation see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Entebbe#Ugandan_reaction.
With regard the number of MIGs that were destroyed:
You can see the page in question here http://books.google.com/books?id=to7hS3Wlro4C&pg=PA203 unfortunately it doesn't have the next page which may be helpful.
Here is what a bit of research turned up:
11 MiG fighters - http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/4/newsid_2786000/2786967.stm
11 MiG http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/188804/Entebbe-raid
between six and 10 Soviet-manufactured MiG fighters destroyed. http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1976/jul/04/1
My assumption would be that at least 6 MIG were totally decimated, and many more were damaged to various degrees.
BTW, which documentary did you watch?

Yaakovaryeh (talk) 20:38, 28 November 2013 (UTC)

Deleting section "Declassified British documents"?[edit]

  • The sources are incredibly unreliable as evidenced by our not even knowing their identity. This section is more at home under the auspices of "Historical Revisionism" or "New Anti-semitism. User:24.23.4.137 09:22, 23 March 2008 [Edit comment copied to here by Anthony Appleyard (talk) at 09:36, 23 March 2008 (UTC)]

Israeli politics in approving the raid[edit]

I saw a documentary claiming that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was opposed to the military raid until almost the end, preferring to pursue a diplomatic resolution, while Defence Minister Shimon Peres was in favour. Rabin was concerned that if the raid failed, he did not want to be blamed for it, so in the end Rabin had Peres sign a letter of resignation in advance, which would be accepted in case the raid failed. Then, the documentary claimed, when the raid succeeded Rabin took all the credit. If this can be sourced well, it should be added to the article. I do not recall offhand what sources the documentary was relying on for these claims. The title of the documentary is “Rabin-Peres: Everything is Personal”. It doees not have an imdb entry yet but here are some links: [1][2][3][4][5]. --Mathew5000 (talk) 07:04, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Nazism[edit]

I made this edit to the article on the Wikipedia principle of "let the facts speak for themselves". However the quote is not widely available on the internet and if that URL is removed, someone may be tempted to remove it. So here is another source that can be used as backup to construct a similar sentence:

David Frum (2000) How We Got Here: The 70s the Decade That Brought You Modern Life -- For Better or Worse, Basic Books, ISBN 0465041965 p. 342 "One of the captors went up to Bose [Wilfried Bose, the leader] and showed him a number indelibly branded on his arm. He told him that he had got it in a Nazi concentration camp. He said he had supposed that a new and different generation had grown up in Germany, but with this experience of Bose and his girl comrade, he found it difficult to believe that the Nazi movement had died. Bose replied that this was something quite different from Nazism."

--Philip Baird Shearer (talk) 13:38, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Propose renaming this article[edit]

I propose we rename this article "Operation Thunderbolt" and have "Operation Entebbe" redirect to this. The operation was never named Entebbe and as an encyclopaedia wouldn't the correct name be the name of the article with a mention of "also known as" in the text? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.126.170.20 (talk) 21:40, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

"Thunderbolt" is no more a correct term than "Entebbe", since the original Hebrew codename was "Thunderball" (_ball, not _bolt), later renamed "Yonatan". Thunderbolt is a simple mistranslation that became widely known, but is incorrect nonetheless. Also, there's a discussion about this article's title further up this talk page - have a look. altmany (talk) 21:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
If this is the case, then the article should be titled "Operation Thunderball", with an AKA mention of the other names. After all, Operation Market Garden isn't called Operation Arnhem, no?milnews.ca 16:30, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Number of Hercules Aircraft involved[edit]

The article says that there were four C-130 transports involved in the operation, However according to the BBC the number of C-130s quoted was three.

Vidur itm (talk) 06:33, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

According to Iddo Netanyahu, in his book Entebbe, there were four planes involved in the operation. The first was for the "soft" vehicles (jeeps and the Mercedes); the second and third carrying four APCs; and the fourth for evacuating the hostages. -- Filmcom (talk) 20:05, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

textbook argumentum ad hominem[edit]

"Waldheim subsequently turned out to be a former Wehrmacht officer, whose name appeared on a 1947 list of wanted war criminals submitted to the UN by Yugoslavia."

This reads like an attempt to bias the reader against Waldheim. It could be replaced with "Waldheim condemned the raid as a violation of sovereign territory, but he was a NAZI so he is WRONG". Waldheim was never charged with anything, a panel of historians concluded that he did not have the power to have any real impact on the holocaust, and the Wehrmacht was the German regular army, all of which is totally irrelevant to this article. He is making a claim about the legality of the Israeli action, so the only relevant arguments will be ones that confirm or reject his claim.

Let's suppose he was even worse than the allegations suggested - let's suppose he was an SS officer at a death camp. This would not prove him wrong - only comparing the facts to the relevant conventions / laws can answer if he is right or wrong - so this is a pretty clear example of an ad hominem attack. As such I am removing both that section and the reference to the letter from Idi Amin. Someone who has a good understanding of international law and sovereignty, please provide input on the legality of Israel's action. I do not have knowledge of that, nor do I have an opinion on the issue, aside from a dislike of logical fallacies :) 152.91.9.219 (talk) 03:45, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

The unsupported allegations about Waldheim and the ad hominem have crept in again. I'm removing them as per discussion above. 12:10, 29 January 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.244.219.43 (talk)

Claims of Israeli Involvement[edit]

I edited this without reading the lengthy discussions first (sorry) but my edit still stands.

The section, as it read before, gave me the impression that the British had concluded that there was some evidence to support the allegation of Israeli involvement. I had to read it multiple times before I got to the heart of the matter namely:

The entirety of the evidence supporting this is a single phone call from an anonymous source.

It is important that anybody reading this section understand that. The previous version was terribly misleading.

As far as whether or not this section stays, I agree that a strong argument can be made that it is given undue weight. BUT, if it gets removed, people are just going to have edit wars over this. It is better to have a balanced section included in the article 100% of the time than an unbalanced section that appears 50% of the time.71.243.119.32 (talk) 17:15, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Not Wikipedia's claims[edit]

This is not wikipedia's claims but someone else, it should be mentioned even if you don't personally like it 94.187.60.140 (talk) 12:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Claim of Israeli involvement[edit]

This is an unfounded conspiracy theory and therefore this entire section should be deleted from the article. Placing flimsy conspiracy theories in articles serves no purpose and undermines the credibility of the whole article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 192.158.61.140 (talk) 16:20, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Entebbe was the hoax of hoaxes[edit]

Idi Amin was [6] installed by Israel, they even gave him an executive jet. The hijackers were 5 Arabs, aided by 2 Nazis, for added zip. Then, the Israelis claimed they glided three C-130's into a short remote jungle airport, and 30 Uganda troopers didn't hear or see anything.

This is classic propagandaProfessor Boris (talk) 21:10, 19 July 2009 (UTC)Professor Boris

If you have any evidence that it was a hoax, kindly present it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.44.52.149 (talk) 18:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Awkward sentence in first para[edit]

In the wake of the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 by members of the terrorist organizations Revolutionary Cells and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - External Operations 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.[2]

Too long, and hard to understand.202.82.171.186 (talk) 03:31, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Operation Entebbe/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Comments[edit]

  • At the moment the article needs more citations. Tags added
Yes check.svg Done Added references to all facts. LouriePieterse 17:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • There is a list of Reference sources at the bottom of the article but they don't seem to have been used.
Yes check.svg Done Improved section. LouriePieterse 17:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The nationalities info box spoils the flow of the article and may be better added at the end or change it to prose.
Yes check.svg Done Created nationalities section. LouriePieterse 17:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

--Jim Sweeney (talk) 19:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Comments by Ynhockey[edit]

The article has developed well, but I have two main concerns:

  1. It appears that no academic book sources were used for the article, even though numerous books have been written about the subject, as evidenced by the "Further reading" section (probably just as many in Hebrew). While this might not be a GA requirement, it would make the article much more serious if book sources were used, and would make it eligible for A-class and later FA.
  2. The ordering of the sections is problematic; the background section appears to actually consist of numerous events, which are not chronologically correct within the article as it stands now. In general, the background section should go first (before "Hijack"), but some current parts of it should probably be in the other sections.

Ynhockey (Talk) 09:44, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

GA Review by MuZemike[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Operation Entebbe/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Here are some issues that I see with the article currently:

  • Lead too short – with an article this size, three full paragraphs is strongly recommended. Please add a third paragraph.
Yes check.svg Done I've added another paragraph and referenced the facts in it. LouriePieterse 08:50, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Passive voice – there is quite a bit of passive voice throughout the article (in particular, the lead). Try to change as much of that as possible to active voice.
  • "Operational planning" subsections – the "Ground task force" section layout is unnecessary; that is, there are better ways to organize that section than using L3 headings for each portion. It basically borks up the article's layout and makes the article harder to read. My suggestion is to either make it all prose or, as an alternative, use a bulleted list accompanied with prose.
Yes check.svg Done Replaced L3 headings with bullets. LouriePieterse 16:04, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Section too short – the "Claim of Israeli involvement" section is awfully short to have its own section. Is there a possibility that this can be integrated into another existing section?
Yes check.svg Done Moved section into another section. LouriePieterse 15:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Verifiability
    • This has become an open wound in the close-knit Sayeret Matkal family. → this needs to be sourced or removed alternatively.
Yes check.svg Done Removed statement. LouriePieterse 15:42, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The Israeli ground task force numbered approximately 100 personnel, and comprised the following: ... → include the source where everything following this comes from (only one is needed where the {{fact}} tag is at)
Yes check.svg Done Removed statement. LouriePieterse 15:57, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, that sentence should stay in there as it introduces what the task force does. What I meant was to provide a source that mentions the organization of the task force as you have stated in the section. (That is, is there verifiability with the bulleted points? That needs to be shown.) MuZemike 17:16, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I couldn't find a source for that statement, that's why I've removed it. So I should remove the complete list if I couldn't find another source? LouriePieterse 19:23, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
If you can't then it probably should be removed until one is found that describes the organization of the task force. I'm surprised there is not one present, though, from reading the sources given already. MuZemike 19:48, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Found suitable source, and added statement again. LouriePieterse 09:13, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Also (now that I think about it), is there a more specific source (like their website, a copy of their manifest, etc.) from Air France that verifies the nationalities of the people? Also, one of your notes say that these figures vary according to conflicting sources. You may need to disambiguate in that table the differences in the figures (that is, note the difference(s) between the Air France figures and the New York Times figures). MuZemike 19:48, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Per this edit here, I don't think that last sentence added in the Nationalities section is necessary. At the least, it doesn't belong in that section. Either reword and move to a more appropriate section or remove entirely. MuZemike 17:58, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Last edit from new user. Makes changes and notified him. LouriePieterse 19:19, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Other issues that I will note here (but will not gig as far as the GAN is concerned):

  • Citations in the lead – unnecessary per WP:LEAD provided the same information is mentioned in the main body of the article and provided it is not a quote from a person.
Yes check.svg Done LouriePieterse 17:47, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Emdashes – remember that there are not supposed to be spaces to the left or right of emdashes.
  • Non-breaking spaces for measurements/time' – for stuff like time(such as, between the time and the "a.m." or "p.m."), non-breaking spaces are needed.
  • Captions – if the caption is a sentence fragment, then no end punctuation is to be used. Otherwise, it must be used.
  • Consistency in citations – a lot of the citations are consistent in usage. I recommend using the {{cite xxx}} series of citation templates as all of them include full stops at the end.
  • Alt text for all images – one of the new WP:FAC requirements over there is that alt text be included in every image. See WP:ALT for guidelines and details.
  • Full paragraphs – paragraphs that are too short and choppy impair readability. In many cases (as I have done already in the article), paragraphs can be combined to make fuller, more readable paragraphs. It also makes the writing look more professional. Focus on fuller paragraphs.
  • Consistent length in sections – on the same line of thought as above, try if possible (sometimes this is not possible) to keep the lengths of all sections consistent. Sections consisting of a single paragraph are normally unnecessary, chops up the TOC, and can also impair readability (see GAN concern above).
  • Expansion of coverage – after reading some of the sources given, there is some room for expansion of coverage of the operation. While the current amount of coverage is sufficient to pass for GA standing in this aspect, more stuff should be included that isn't already in the given sources as this approaches FA in order to satisfy the comprehensiveness requirement.

Otherwise, the images are properly licensed; the Amin image has a proper fair-use rationale. The article is written in NPOV and has no recent significant edit-warring or content disputes. What needs to be addressed are whatever is in the first set of bullet points above. I will place this GAN on hold for about a week pending improvements to the article. MuZemike 23:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Good article Passed. Any other issues would only serve as nitpickery as far as GA is concerned. Please try to follow my other suggestions above as this article further approaches A-Class and/or FA. Nice job. MuZemike 19:45, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Klaus Kinski[edit]

The section on dramatizations says that Klaus Kinski played the Hijackers. Huh? He played all of them? What exactly did he play? —MiguelMunoz (talk) 22:08, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Operation Entebbe[edit]

I believe the operation was code-named "Operation Thunderbolt", not Thunderball. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.147.69.175 (talk) 11:23, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Incorrect citations[edit]

These sentences aren't backed up by their citations:

  • At one point, an Israeli commando called out in Hebrew, "Where are the rest of them?", referring to the hijackers.
  • Upon entering the terminal, the commandos were shouting through a megaphone, "Stay down! Stay down! We are Israeli soldiers." in both Hebrew and English.
BTW Dunstan writes that the three hostages were killed before the Israeli soldiers told the hostages to stay down (p. 45-46).

Prezbo (talk) 08:50, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Trim fringe theories[edit]

WP:Fringe theories do not deserve a section, nor even mention where it came from a single source without any details. One of the cites explained why it does not deserve inclusion, i.e. no WP:verifiability and lacking a WP:NPOV. Note that once any "unnamed" person can be cited for making claims of conspiracies, etc., then Wikipedia will be undermined as a valid source of facts and become more of a tabloid source.

"The articles in question do not provide a basis for believing the conspiracy claim. Nor does the archived document reveal any evidence for the allegation. This leaves the credibility of the allegation dependent on faith in its source.
"The BBC gave an incomplete description of the source. The BBC article, by Dan Parkinson, characterized the source only as an "unnamed contact" of a British diplomat in Paris. . . diplomat's source was "a contact in the Euro-Arab Parliamentary Association." This information was available to the BBC, which did not include it in its story. The BBC's omission of information about the source made its story look less than convincing. The Telegraph article provided enough description for a reader to understand that the allegation of a conspiracy appeared to come from an Arab source hostile to Israel. " --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 00:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)
If you mean the outrageous claim that the Israeli gov't helped Amin carry out the hijacking, I've already deleted it from the article (and if anyone tries to revert it, I will delete it again as many times as it takes without regard for the 3-revert rule or any other). This kind of conspiracy-mongering is despicable and must not be tolerated. 67.170.215.166 (talk) 00:57, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Renewed Media Interest and Further Developments[edit]

I think the renewed interest in the Entebbe operation in 2007, sparked by the UK government file is worthy of mention. Not for the purpose of expounding suggestions of collusion, but for the purpose of legitimately reflecting further developments relating to the Entebbe Operation as mentioned by reliable sources.

I'm not sure the additions I've made regarding renewed media interest are appropriate for the "aftermath" section, but I'm equally unsure what section (new or existing) these additions would be appropriate for. Any suggestions? Ziggysdaydream (talk) 21:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

There seems to be a typo. If not, I cannot understand this:[edit]

"Some sources refer to the operation as Operation Thunderbolt, rather than Operation Thunderbolt"--Canyq (talk) 00:56, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Speaking of typography, is it appropriate for a Jew to have a typographic dagger (i.e. Christian cross) to indicate that he was killed in action? Is there a better way to show this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.184.21.149 (talk) 04:25, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Duplication[edit]

The sections Hostage interviews and The building seem to present the exact same information. --Noha307 (talk) 19:20, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Use of Christian cross is inappropriate.[edit]

Speaking of typography, is it appropriate for a Jew to have a typographic dagger (i.e. Christian cross) to indicate that he was killed in action? Is there a better way to show this?

I must agree. At the risk of sounding politically correct, something I am loathe to do, there must be some other symbol which could be used to indicate "Killed in Action" which is not so sectarian. Balavent (talk) 06:22, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Idi Amin - Whose Side Was He On?[edit]

In the info box it lists Amin as one of the opposition leaders, how can this be? He was never on the side of the PFLP, the side he was on was his own. Amin exploited the situation to engineer media interest in himself and never had anything to do with the decision to fly the hijacked plane to Uganda in the first place, did his troops aid the PFLP in any part of the hijacking?

This is so much more complex than just placing him in a infobox as an antagonist.--86.21.136.74 (talk) 14:52, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

It's worth remembering the infobox is primarily concerning the hostage rescue operation. Whatever Idi Amin's (lack of) involvement in the initial hostage taking, it does appear he later provided full support to them after they landed support which continued (by his troops) when Israel launched the hostage rescue operation (perhaps not suprising if the operation was thought of as an attack on Uganda). The fact that he had his own goals and aims which were different from the hijackers doesn't really change the fact they were cooperating with each other in this particular operation, it isn't uncommon co-belligerents on either side of a conflict will have their own ultimate goals and aims, even for allies. Nil Einne (talk) 16:59, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Operation Entebbe ?[edit]

Isn't the operation to free the Entebbe hostages supposed to call Operation Thunderbolt later renamed by the Israeli military as Operation Yonni or Operation Yonatan after there slain leader Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu.

Use of symbols denoting KIA[edit]

I refer to the changing of the "Killed in Action" template beside Yonatan Netanyahu. If the cross is: I quote Balavent "sectarian" (as above), does that mean we have to change the symbol too for every other slain leader/commander who is not Christian?Shuipzv3 (talk) 14:25, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Whatever we decide, it should be consistent for everybody. We don't want to have to go look up people's religion before we decide what symbol to use. If there is no universal KIA symbol, we should just go with the small text as it is currently for Netanyahu. –CWenger (^@) 17:47, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
The small text version is better for lots of reasons. As a written resource, there's nothing wrong with our writing "KIA". The cross symbol is easily misunderstood and doesn't add anything. --John (talk) 17:55, 12 June 2011 (UTC)
The dagger is a common symbol used to denote KIA, but i can imagine people mixing it with the Christian cross. (See Dagger (typography)). But if religious icons are used (an anounymous editor suggested the Star of David for Yonatan Netanyahu, see here [7]), if gives the message that the commander/leader was martyred and his religious beliefs played a part in his demise. --Shuipzv3 (talk) 01:34, 13 June 2011 (UTC)

Cleanup / Neutrality Discussion[edit]

I added a cleanup tag because the article is full of missing citations, NPOV adjectives, inconsistent reference formatting, and grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors. Let's get to work! Dimension31 (talk) 06:25, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

NPOV Issues[edit]

The article is entirely lacking in quotations and citations from sources that incorporation information from PFLP-EO, Revolutionary Cells, and Uganda related sources. There's a definite American slant to the sources. More high quality international sources in general would be great. Let's try to dig up some more diverse sources and incorporate them into the article. Dimension31 (talk) 00:25, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Inspiration for United States rescue teams[edit]

People have repeatedly tried to delete the last paragraph of the Aftermath section, which says that the United States has developed rescue teams based on the Entebbe model, one example being the failed Iran hostage rescue. I have no idea why. The first part at least is verifiable. Parts of Dershowitz's book Preemption: A Knife That Cuts Both Ways is available through Google Books. Unfortunately the part in question is not in the preview, but doing a full-text search for Entebbe you can see the start of a sentence, "The United States now has well-trained teams, modeled on the team sent into Entebbe, ..." I can't find anything about the Iran hostage rescue. It could very well be in the second reference by Houghton. –CWenger (^@) 01:12, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually the second reference is on Google Books too. There is an extensive discussion of Entebbe in the context of the Iran hostage situation. So if nobody objects I will remove the "need quotation to verify" and "dubious – discuss" tags from that paragraph. –CWenger (^@) 01:25, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is totally ridiculous -- one of the quotes from the first source, from an interview with Cyrus Vance: "And therefore trying to strike some kind of parallel about Entebbe to me was irrational." Don't use out of context lines to push some biased agenda -- WP:SOAPBOX. Dimension31 (talk) 02:26, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Umm, that's a Carter administration official talking about why he thought Entebbe and the Iran hostage situation were different. It just reinforces how related the two incidents are. He was obviously overruled as the operation went forward and failed. And please don't edit war while the discussion is ongoing. –CWenger (^@) 02:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
That is just blatantly false. Time for a RfC. Dimension31 (talk) 04:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

RfC: Should Operation Eagle Claw Be Discussed In This Article and Do the Included Citations Support the Article?[edit]

Should Operation Eagle Claw be discussed in this article and do the included citations support the article? Dimension31 (talk) 04:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Text in question:

As a result of the operation, the United States military developed highly trained rescue teams modeled on the Entebbe rescue. One notable attempt to imitate it was Operation Eagle Claw, a failed rescue of 53 American embassy personnel held hostage in Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis.[1][2]


  1. ^ Dershowitz, Alan M. Preemption: A Knife that Cuts both Ways, W. W. Norton (2006) p. 91 (quote: "The United States now has well-trained teams, modeled on the team sent into Entebbe, ready to rescue hostages in the right circumstances.")
  2. ^ Houghton, David Patrick. U.S. Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis, Cambridge Univ. Press (2001) pp. 86-87 (quote: "A well-planned operation along the general lines of the Entebbe operation would have a good chance of releasing the hostages and preserving (and perhaps even enhancing) the national honour and integrity of the United States.")


  • Yes. Both sentences in question are backed up by reliable sources (see quotes in references directly above). The Alan Dershowitz book clearly verifies the first sentence. The Houghton book verifies the second sentence, devoting at least 3 pages to discussion of how Operation Entebbe was very much involved in the planning of Operation Eagle Claw. I don't know why anybody would want to exclude this information, as it is an important part of the legacy of Operation Entebbe. –CWenger (^@) 05:38, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. Per CWenger. I can't imagine why, either.--Epeefleche (talk) 06:04, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes. Agree that the connections are relevant and worth the brief mention. Leaving it out would almost be negligent.--Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 06:25, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, but I don't think the first one is useful. Dershowitz is an unreliable lawyer-activist with no expertise in military matters. CWenger's description of the Houghton book suggests it has a much stronger case for a mention. Zerotalk 07:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
    • A fair concern. I found another reference to support this claim, Winged Shield, Winged Sword 1950-1997: A History of the United States Air Force: "The spectacular attack on Entebbe, more than any other single event in the struggle against the growing threat of terrorism, fired the imagination of military planners who believed that terrorists had to be fought and defeated. The American reaction included the organization of Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, called the Delta Force, designed to be flown anywhere in the world to do what the Israeli commandos had done in Uganda." –CWenger (^@) 07:29, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Another source, The Complete Idiot's Guide to the U.S. Special Ops Forces, By Marc Cerasini (p. 114) states that the Iranian operation was "modeled after Operation Thunderbolt . . .", and another source says "it layed the groundwork." --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 08:37, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
A case would need to be made that "Complete Idiot's Guide" meet WP:RS. It isn't clear. Zerotalk 08:48, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The author, Marc Cerasini, also wrote The Future of War: the Face of 21st-century Warfare, 2003. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 22:06, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes I think it's pretty clear from a number of sources. Number 57 11:32, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes - These sources are reliable and clearly support the claims made. Additionally, this is an important and interesting piece of information. Reaper Eternal (talk) 10:18, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

1) Tag-bombing; 2) Infobox[edit]

The article seems to have suffered a measure of tag-bombing. I don't see any need for the remaining "cleanup" tag. But before I or someone else removes it, I would be interested in some community reaction as to whether it should be removed. Thanks. Please indicate any sentiments below.

  • Remove. No need for it.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:35, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove. And add more detail, with quotes as requested, about Delta's formation and connections. The tagger should have done that anyway with all the sources, given and elsewhere. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 21:57, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove. Seems like an unfair singling-out of this article. I also want to note that in the infobox under Result it used to say "Mission successful" but that was removed as a compromise. We might want to revisit that now that we have more editors involved. –CWenger (^@) 23:02, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I also support restoring "Mission successful" to the ibox, as that is generally accurate, though it was not 100% successful (e.g., loss of life).--Epeefleche (talk) 23:09, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

murdered ---> killed[edit]

The current state of the article says several times that Dora Bloch was "murdered" by Ugandan soldiers after the raid. I'm changing it to "killed" --- murdered is a loaded word and out of place in an encyclopedia, unless referring to its usage in the law.

To forestall likely arguments, I do absolutely agree that it's fair to call the killing murder --- but I think the description makes that clear enough without having to use a judgmental word to make sure people get the point. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 61.48.155.214 (talk) 08:54, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Israel and not against Jews[edit]

From the article

According to Ilan Hartuv, one of the hostages, the hijackers told to the hostages explicitly that they are against Israel and not against Jews. Among the freed passengers there were many Jews that did not hold Israeli citizenship, including two yeshiva students from Brazil


From the source

Hartuv recalls that the Israelis were joined by two couples from Belgium and the United States, and two teens from Brazil, who had completed a year of studies in a Jerusalem yeshiva: "They were transferred to the Israeli group because when we landed in Entebbe, before dawn, they had put on tefillin and recited morning prayers. We approached the Peruvian and asked that they be transferred to the foreign group because they were not Israelis. The Peruvian agreed and transferred the two Brazilians. Later they were freed with the rest of the non-Israeli hostages. He apologized for not being able to free the other two couples because the German woman wouldn't allow it."


The problem here is that some of the hijackers explained their motives but not all of them. The passage quoted above show that those identified as Jew by methods other than passports were also held with the Israelis and that at least one of the hijackers insisted that the "two couples from Belgium and the United States" remained with the Israelis. Hartuv describes the German woman as a Nazi but if asked she would have rejected that label and said something similar to Bose "I'm no Nazi! ... I am [a left wing] idealist". If an Israel gentile had been held then one could make the argument that it was based on citizenship alone, but if all the people held were Jewish and only some of them were Israel citizens, then the paragraph in the article is misleading because it implies that all non Israel hostages were released when the source does not say that. --PBS (talk) 23:17, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

I had the same thought when I read the Haaretz article. The difficulty here is that we would be into original research if we report the article in terms that contradict what the article explicitly summarizes itself. Zerotalk 00:22, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
To more accurately reflect the article I suggest that the text is changed to qualify "hijackers" with "some of the hijackers" and add to the end "but at least four none Israelis remained hostage". (the source is not explicit about the religion of the four). -- PBS (talk) 01:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Terrorist[edit]

Normally Epeefleche I would not revert before discussing such an edit, but in this case your explanation for reverting, is not justified, and I know from bitter experience that you play games with reverts, and there is a 1RR on this article.

Epeefleche why did you add into the edit history "-PBS -- please stop w/your POV editing". How it it a POV edit to follow WP:W2W? If anything putting such words into an article is editing in a point of view.

As the lead can be structured without need to use the word terrorist why use it, unless one is trying to put a POV into the article?

It does not matter that it is used in reliable sources, the terms are superfluous and biased. For example is there more than one "Revolutionary Cells"? If not then there is not need to disambiguate them with a term like militant as there is no moderate "Revolutionary Cells" for it to be contrasted against.

The reader can make up their own minds if by their actions, the hijackers were common criminal, terrorists, or soldiers, Wikipedia does not have to make that judgement in the passive narrative voice of the article. In the body of the text if someone is quoted stating that the hijackers were terrorists then fine but we should not use such terms in the passive narrative voice of the article and doubly so in the lead. -- PBS (talk) 01:41, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

The term "terrorist" should not be removed from the article. It is widely used by reliable sources. Replacing it with "militant" would be watering down the content. We can argue about whether or not we need in-text attribute but removing it entirely would not be following the sources. –CWenger (^@) 03:58, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Please look at the edit I made, I did not and am not suggesting replacing the word terrorist with militant. -- PBS (talk) 04:31, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
You are right, your edit was actually even more contentious because you removed both "terrorist" and "militant". My argument still stands. –CWenger (^@) 05:03, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree with CWenger. PBS made the edit I reverted w/the edit summary "Removed the judgemental words "terrorist" and "militant". If used in RSs, they are not "judgemental (sic)" and inappropriate. They are RS-supported. PBS--you have a personal POV as to the article, which is at odds with the RSs -- the view of the RSs is more important in guiding us than your personal view. That is the case here, as I told PBS. Saying that what the RSs says is "biased" and superfluous" is at best one editor's (PBS's) POV ... Others no doubt don't think it is those things, but by following the RSs we avoid arguing over whether one editor's POV is better than another editor's POV. PBS -- we've had discussions in the past at AN/I about you engaging in non-consensus, POV-pushing editing; please don't engage in editing here yet again along those lines, for the reasons I thought you would have been sensitive to after the input provided by the community at your AN/Is. Many thanks.--Epeefleche (talk) 04:55, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
"PBS--you have a personal POV as to the article, which is at odds with the RSs" What does that mean? We have a policy and guidelines that do not support the use of judgemental words in the passive narrative voice of the article points of view should be attributed in the text. If they are to be in the article and there is no reason why they should not be, it would be much better to place with in text attribution in the body of the article. -- PBS (talk) 09:15, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
We have a policy that we follow the RSs. What you call "judgemental" in your POV, others call accurately described by RSs. Your habit of letting your POV interfere with following RSs, and editing against consensus, has been detailed at AN/Is. if you like, I can link to them. Please follow the RSs, and consensus, rather than your own personal views as to what is "judgemental". Thanks.--Epeefleche (talk) 16:14, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
What is the thanks for? Please see the first section of WP:NPOV specifically the bullet point "Avoid stating opinions as facts ..." from the same page WP:SUBSTANTIATE and the guideline WP:TERRORIST. Using the word terrorist in the passive narrative voice in the lead is not backed up by policy or the style guidelines. There is not need for it. Most people who read the article are quite capable of deciding for themselves if the perpetrators of the hijacking were terrorist or freedom fighters or whatever.
It would be factual, and well within the scope of an encyclopaedia article, to include in the body of the article a quote from an analysis by an authoritative neutral source that states that the hacking was a terrorist act or that terrorists or members of terrorist groups carried out the hijacking, at the moment there does not seem to be any such quote. As this action took place during the Cold War there was a sizeable section of the international community that condemned the Israeli operation this probably needs to be mentioned in the lead. -- PBS (talk) 07:01, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
"Avoid stating opinions as facts ..." whether someone is a terrorist or not is an opinion or a point of law. Either way it should be attributed to the source and not expressed in the passive editorial voice of the piece otherwise it is expressing a specific point of view. -- PBS (talk) 12:18, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
We follow the RSs. There is no rule, as your POV would suggest, that the phrase be deleted from wikipedia, despite its widespread usage by RSs vis-a-vis certain individuals.--Epeefleche (talk) 17:47, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
"There is no rule, as your POV would suggest" There is guidance on it see WP:TERRORIST. Contrary to the spin you are trying to put on this it is you who is trying to maintain a POV in the article in the passive narrative voice of the article which implies that Wikipedia article consider these people to be terrorists. A neutral POV would not make such a claim but would attribute the term to the most reliable sources available. -- PBS (talk) 08:17, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
The hostage-takers are widely referred to in Reliable Sources and the Media in almost all countries as terrorists. This has to stand in the article. Their actions are the very definition of what terrorism is. HammerFilmFan (talk) 21:43, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have reverted your revert. The use of the word terrorist in the passive narrative voice of the article breaches the WP:NPOV policy and the WP:TERRORIST guideline. -- PBS (talk) 23:31, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

number of hijackers[edit]

The number of hijackers varies in different sources from 4 to 8. By now I couldn't verify, what source was the most trustworthy. The current version of the article counts to 7. What source is used for this number? Hybscher (talk) 02:26, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

When referring to the actual "hijackers"—those people who hijacked the airplane after takeoff in Athens—the number four is correct (two Germans, two Palestinians). When more Palestinians joined the original team of four when the plane arrived at Entebbe airport, maybe the term "hijackers" is no longer the most accurate for the new team. The Israeli troops later reported to have killed all seven enemy militants they encountered at the airport (including the four original hijackers). According to witness reports at least one more Palestinian (who had directed the operation since arrival of the hostages in Entebbe) was not at the airport at the night of the Israeli raid. Several witnesses reported varying numbers of PFLP troops. 8 is the minimum total. --Hvd69 (talk) 09:54, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Rabin and Peres[edit]

Need to add ytzhak Rabin the prime minister and shimon Peres the security minister then — Preceding unsigned comment added by 46.116.240.223 (talk) 18:56, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

This has probably been discussed before, but I have a problem with the name. It was code-named Operation Thunderbolt, and later changed to Operation Yonatan. To present it as the code-name is misleading. It would be better to call it Operation Yonatan, or perhaps something like the Entebbe raid, as it is widely referred to.--RM (Be my friend) 23:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

KIA; all or nothing[edit]

I restored the KIA with the alt tag to both the dead leaders; to get into arguments about which is or isn't a terrorist or killed by terrorists is just silly here. We also shouldn't be using the little cross for non-Christian casualties, per a long-standing consensus. Rather than get into further argument, if there is still argument about this, we should just get rid of the KIA tags. They aren't all that crucial to understand the article. --John (talk) 16:40, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Then get rid of them. -- PBS (talk) 17:05, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I happily did this. --John (talk) 20:22, 21 December 2012 (UTC)


GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:Operation Entebbe/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This article has devolved considerably since it passed the Good article assessment in 2009 (passing version [8]). I counted 12 clean up tags on the current version, most of them requests for citations and most of them needed for criteria 2b. The prose of the article has also deteriated, with many disjointed single sentence paragraphs present. The issues appear to require more than simple edits to solve, but I will hold it for a few weeks to give it a chance before delisting. AIRcorn (talk) 14:27, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

I've done some of the work requested by the clean-up tags on this article, removing most of them. I've also condensed most of the one-sentence paragraphs. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can carry this the rest of the way to the finish line. Thanks for flagging this one. -- Khazar2 (talk) 16:42, 27 December 2012 (UTC)
Some Good work. I will have a closer look later. AIRcorn (talk) 10:53, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

A few citation tags present. It has been open for a good six weeks now so it is unlikely to get fixed any time soon. Thank you for you edits Khazar, but I am afraid I will have to delist it. AIRcorn (talk) 11:24, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

removing quotation[edit]

I was unable to confirm the following quotation, tagged as needing citation, via Google, Google Books, or Highbeam, and have thus removed it from the article:

Shani said the final operation “...was planned over 48 hours. Planning an operation like this might take another military a month, two months, six months or more, but we had two days, so we probably covered only 2 percent of the plan, leaving 98 percent to improvisation."

I don't have any particular reason to doubt its veracity, but it does need a citation to be restored. -- Khazar2 (talk) 14:48, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Number injured[edit]

The article previously stated that four passengers were killed and ten were injured, which has been marked as needing citation for some time. I can't find a source for the ten injured, but this source [9] states that seven were wounded in the Israeli raid without mentioning other injuries. I've modified the article accordingly for now, but would welcome changes if anyone has a source for the "ten injured". -- Khazar2 (talk) 15:49, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

Objection to the term Assault rifle in text[edit]

Just a few friendly points.
  • There is an actual definition of the term, so it is not a "political" term, although it does appear, from an outsiders point of view to have been "politicised" in the U.S.
  • The article covers a military operation, in which usage of the term is appropriate. The article is not discussing an evil (I use the term unashamedly) "domestic" and senseless school or high street slaughter of innocent civilians.
  • A blanket rejection of the term would appear to a U.K based ed, to be a POV gun control aversion related to the ongoing U.S national debate, and irrelevant in the context of this article. I may be making an erroneous assumption there, and am happy to be corrected if that is the case. I would ask what are your primary objections to the usage of the term in this article?

Just some thoughts. Happy to arrange a compromise if consensus disagrees with the above points of discussion. Cheers! Irondome (talk) 23:27, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Edit to Hijacking section[edit]

@Hvd69: Regarding your edit here. I have several concerns: @Kingsindian: I hope you don't mind if I answer each point directly in this paragraph. --Hvd69 (talk) 09:21, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

  • I do not see any source for 248 people "mainly Jewish and Israeli". Is there some place where nationality is mentioned? The lead says that 148 (47 + 101) were non-Israeli. I don't know how many of them were Jewish.
  • I have now added two sources mentioning the fact that most passengers on the plane were Israeli and non-Israeli (mainly French) Jews. There are several more sources available referring, for example, to the 148 released non-Israeli hostages as "most of them Jews of various nationalities", or stating (on page 16) "Il faut savoir que 90% des passagers étaient de confession israélite et 60% des israéliens." = "You must know that 90% of passengers were of Jewish faith and 60% Israelis." (coming from a French Jew who belonged to the group of non-released, non-Israeli hostages). Nobody knows exactly how many of them were Jewish, but that a vast majority, even of non-Israeli passengers, were Jews is safe to say.
  • You added another source, however:
  • I do not see in the source where the 5 million ransom was asked for.
* I have added a better source.
  • I do not see in the source where Idi Amin is described as "pro-Palestinian"
* I have deleted the "pro-Palestinian" (which was a leftover from the previous version referring to his troops, which made even less sense).
  • You changed "40 Palestinians" to "40 mainly Palestinian militants". The source simply says 40 Palestinians
* I have re-edited the text and added a better source.
  • You removed the quote and motivation of the hijackers, and a quote from a survivor Hartuv about distinction between Jewish and Israeli.
* The first question must be if the quotes are adding relevant information to the encyclopedia. Secondly, there are a large number of quotes from conversations with Böse, some of which are more explicit about his motivation than the simple statement claiming to be an "idealist". Thirdly, the source of the deleted quote is no longer accessible. As for Hartuv, his statement on the distinction between Jews and Israelis is by no means singular. If we want to get into the business of interpreting the behaviour or statements of hostage-takers in order to assess their underlying motivation (I'm not entirely sure if that's what an encyclopedic article is about, at least not in the part describing actual events), then more than only one of the many witness reports should be quoted from.

I do not have detailed knowledge of this event, so some of these things might be true anyway. Kingsindian (talk) 23:11, 22 September 2014 (UTC)

I have researched quite a bit of details (especially about the hostages) and can make more quotes and sources available, in case you have additional questions. I hope my additions and answers are now ok with you. --Hvd69 (talk) 09:21, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
@Hvd69: Thank you. After your other edits, most of my concerns have been addressed. Regarding the last point, you might be correct that this might not be the place to put the motivation. However, my point was that if this paragraph is strictly describing the circumstances, I see the last sentence "raising fears and memories...of the Holocaust". The concerns of the passengers were of course genuine but simply writing that could be misleading here. As far as I understand, the selection was primarily done on the basis of Israelis vs non-Israelis, though there were a few exceptions on either side (some Jews included, and some non-Jews excluded). The Hartuv reference is simply a pointer to this fact. Just as you have summarized the other things, there should also be a half-line summary of this fact (if I understand the facts correctly). Kingsindian (talk) 09:53, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
You are absolutely right about pointing out the sentence "raising fears..."—which is why I have now deleted it and, instead, have added more detail about the separation of hostages in two groups. Which is not to say the Holocaust associations (and other aspects going beyond describing who did what) should not be mentioned in the article, but probably better in a separate section. Do you agree? --Hvd69 (talk) 12:18, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Your last edit looked fine to me, if a bit overly detailed. I am not sure if it is necessary to mention all the details; perhaps it can be condensed, since some of it is duplicated in the paragraph just below. Anyway, I agree that the Holocaust associations and the hijackers' motives should be discussed. There are scattered references throughout the article, but perhaps there can be a short subsection for this somewhere. Kingsindian (talk) 13:00, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I have now tried to limit redundant information about the hostages by deleting some references in following paragraphs. And I have added a note to include the Hartuv reference (and similar voices) expressly disclaiming that the hostages were separated into Jews and non-Jews. --Hvd69 (talk) 14:22, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the many edits. Often these kinds of pages serve as a dumping ground for this or that factoid without any regard for coherence or duplication. Kingsindian (talk) 14:36, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

I have another suggestion. The lead is a bit unclear on the basis of the separation. It simply says "Israeli and Jewish" were separated, and continues in that vein. Though it later states that non-Israeli prisoners were released, the next sentence again goes back to "Jewish and Israeli". Perhaps it should be made clear that the separation was based on nationality (including dual citizenship), primarily, with a few exceptions on either side. Kingsindian (talk) 14:47, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

IMHO, the lead is faaaar too long and in urgent need of some serious shortening. When cutting it down to a useful summary of only a few lines, mentioning the basis of the separation of the hostages may well be too much. After all, this article is about all aspects from the hijacking itself, the negotiations, the raid with all its political and military preparations, the role of Ami and Uganda, the diplomatic fallout, the effect on public opinion in Israel and the world, and so on and so forth. --Hvd69 (talk) 15:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
It is possible that the separation stuff should be dumped altogether. I am not too knowledgeable about this subject and haven't edited it much. I might get around to shortening the lead some time, but for now I am planning to shorten some others first. Kingsindian (talk) 15:45, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The length of the lead (4 paragraphs - none particularly long) is in line with WP:LEADLENGTH. "A few lines" would be far too short. (Hohum @) 16:11, 23 September 2014 (UTC)