Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, attended an annual memorial ceremony Tuesday dedicated to the memory of his late brother, Yoni Netanyahu, 39 years after his fall in Operation Entebbe.
Yoni Netanyahu, leader in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was the only Israeli soldier killed during the raid launched by special forces to extricate over 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers of an Air France jet taken hostage at the Entebbe airport in Uganda by Palestinian and German terrorists.
The memorial service was held at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. Participants included the prime minister's bother Ido Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein, along with members of the Security Cabinet and numerous government ministers.
The events of Entebbe are believed to have had a profound impact on Netanyahu, who went on to write numerous books about terrorism before embarking on a successful diplomatic and political career that eventually brought him to Israel’s premiership.
At the time of the operation, Netanyahu said during a memorial last year, he was studying in the US, and the moment he heard IDF soldiers had landed in Entebbe, he knew his brother had to be there, and called his parents.
“This day changed my life and the lives of my parents and my brother [Ido]. My parents have died since then, but I will never forget their grief over the fall of their firstborn son,” the prime minister said.