Benjamin Nentanyahu – the Prime Minister of Israel is arranging a historical Uganda Safari to mark the 40 years following the Entebbe raid that occurred on July 4, 1976. This visit is noted to be the first of its kind made by the Prime Minister of Israel to the Sub Saharan Africa ever since the Yitzhak Shamir paid a visit to the four (4) West African states in the year 1987.
The Entebbe raid came as a result of the plane hijack by
the German and Palestinian terrorists in the city of Athens. The Air
France flight 139 was on the way to Paris from the Israeli’s city of Tel
Aviv on 27th June 1976 before it was diverted to Entebbe International
Airport under the Umbrella of Popular Front for the Liberation of
Isreali Prime Minister Netanyahu notes that the
visit is both of national and personal interest. He noted that the 40th
Anniversary was the ideal time for him. He made the remarks following
the Kenyan President invitation to take a Uganda tour and also Kenya.
The hijack was followed by a week long or deal with the Prime Minister
of Israel Yitzhak Rabin trying to negotiate with the then Ugandan
President Idi Amin Dada. But after this failed, a remarkable rescue
named Operation Thunderbolt was conducted. The hostages were
successfully rescued apart from the three and the Commander of the
Operation Yonatan Netanyahu – a brother to Benjamin who lost their
darling lives. The mission also saw the counts of Uganda Soldiers who
were manning the Airport along with the seven (7) terrorists lose their
Ever since the raid day, the July 4th is historical day of
remembrance in Israel and the Operation was renamed Jonathan in honour
of the fallen Commander. The site of the raid has also become a
historical point of exploration by the concerned travelers on safaris in Uganda.
The range of films have dramatised this Entebbe raid and among these
include the Victory at Entebbe (1976) which was directed by Marvin J.
Chomsky, the Raid On Entebbe (1977) which was directed by Irvin Kershner
and Academy Award-nominated Operation Thunderbolt (1977) which was
directed by Manahem Golan. The range of books also featured the raid
including the Ninety Minutes at Entebbe by William Stevenson and the
Yoni’s Last Battle: The Rescue at Entebbe written by Iddo Netanyahu.
The Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority has always proposed to turn the
Control tower of the Old Entebbe Airport into an Aviation Museum which
will feature the transport story of Uganda and the raid on Entebbe as
well. This will in turn add on the attractions that pull people to take safaris to Uganda.
The site is noted to be a popular site for the Israeli traveling
community and now the coming of Benjamin Netanyahu as the Prime Minister
will enhance its significance.
The destination Uganda also features
a section of the Jewish community to her east commonly known as
Abayudaya who are keen on observing the Jewish customs just like the
people of Israel. They have celebrated Sabbath along with other
festivities of the Jewish calendar as a family for the past four
generations. Therefore it would be ideal for Benjamin and his team to
spare some time to visit these people as well.