This Week in History: Hostages of hijacked Sabena plane freed

Premium special: A glimpse into historical moments in Israeli news from 'The Jerusalem Post' Page 1 archives.

On May 9, 1972, Israeli soldiers freed the hostages of a plane hijacked en-route from Vienna to Tel Aviv. Putting an end to the 23-hour ordeal, soldiers stormed the Sabena airplane, killing two of the four Arab terrorists from the Black September organization. The two surviving terrorists, both female, were sentenced to life imprisonment, but were freed as part of a prisoner exchange after the 1982 Lebanon War. Of the 90 passengers, one was killed and two were wounded while three Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in the operation.
On May 4, 1994, then PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Gaza/Jericho Agreement in Cairo. The pact stated that within five years, Palestinians would gain limited autonomy in the West Bank and Gaza. It stipulated that Israel would withdraw from Gaza and the Jericho area within three weeks.  The agreement was later incorporated into and replaced by the Oslo II Accord.
Ahead of his inauguration as South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela addressed Cape Town Jews on May 8, 1994, telling them that the country needed their skills and resources. Donning a kippa at a Cape Town synagogue, he also praised Jews for their role in opposing apartheid. Mandela, who passed away at the end of 2013, had deep ties with South Africa's Jewish community.