Netanyahu visits grave of Yoni, killed during Operation Entebbe 43 years ago

“Today is the annual memorial for my brother, a hero of Israel, Yoni Netanyahu. May his memory be a blessing,” the prime minister tweeted on Tuesday.

By DAVID DIMOLFETTA
July 10, 2019 16:35
1 minute read.
PM Netanyahu

PM Netanyahu. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the grave of his brother Yoni Netanyahu on Tuesday, commemorating the 43rd anniversary of his death, which falls on the sixth of the Hebrew month of Tammuz.

Yoni Netanyahu was killed in action during Operation Entebbe in 1976, a hostage rescue mission at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. 

“Today is the annual memorial for my brother, a hero of Israel, Yoni Netanyahu. May his memory be a blessing,” Netanyahu tweeted on Tuesday. “My brother, Yoni, it’s been 43 years. I miss you every day.”


Yoni Netanyahu was born in New York in March of 1946 and with his family moved back and forth between the United States and Israel. As a high school junior, after a brief return to the United States in 1963, he returned to the Jewish homeland, enlisting in the IDF Paratroopers Brigade. He then fought in the Six Day War as a commander. 


After the war, Yoni Netanyahu married his girlfriend, Tuti. They soon left for Boston where he enrolled at Harvard University.


During his studies, Israel was in the midst of fighting a “War of Attrition” against Egypt and Jordan. Because of this, Netanyahu believed he should be in his homeland. So, in 1968, he and Tuti returned to Israel. He enrolled at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem studying mathematics and philosophy.


Netanyahu commanded a Sayeret Matkal force in the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War. The unit killed more than 40 Syrian commandos and thwarted the attempted Syrian raid in the Golan's heartland. He also rescued wounded Lieutenant Colonel Yossi Ben Hanan from Tel Shams.


He is remembered as a charismatic, tough leader who defined post-state Zionism. The prime minister said his "hard line against all terrorists" views came as a result of the death of his brother.


The 2012 documentary film Follow Me is based on Yoni Netanyahu's life and his final mission. The film’s narration uses transcripts from his personal letters and other spoken words.



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