Uganda leader tells Netanyahu he will set up museum at Entebbe

Says museum will be dedicated both to rescue operation itself and to the worldwide fight against terror.

entebbe returning 88.298 (photo credit: Uzi Keren)
entebbe returning 88.298
(photo credit: Uzi Keren)
In addition to drawing crowds of international dignitaries, President Shimon Peres's "Facing Tomorrow" presidential conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday brought together Ugandan President Gen. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and members of the Netanyahu family, whose oldest son, Yoni, was killed in the 1976 Operation Thunderbolt. Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, his brother Ido and his father, Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, met with Museveni in the afternoon at the Knesset. As part of the meeting, Museveni announced that the only remaining structure of the old Entebbe airport, the control tower, would be turned into a museum commemorating the operation later renamed "Operation Yoni." Yoni Netanyahu was commander of the IDF raid. During the operation, 248 passengers and 12 crew members were rescued from the Entebbe airport, where they had been held hostage after Air France flight 139 was hijacked by the PFLP and German terror cells. The museum, Museveni said, would be dedicated both to the operation itself and to the worldwide fight against terror. In 2005, Museveni and Binyamin Netanyahu dedicated a memorial plaque at the control tower. It was Museveni who initiated the request to hold Wednesday's meeting with the Netanyahu family. "The IDF operation in Entebbe was a turning point for the global war on terror and for the struggle of the Ugandan nation against the autocratic rule of [then-leader] Idi Amin," Netanyahu said during Wednesday's meeting. The four met for almost an hour, during which Museveni extended an invitation to the senior Netanyahu to visit. For the majority of the meeting, Museveni asked numerous questions about Jewish history and, in particular, the history of the Zionist movement. Prof. Netanyahu supplied the president with answers, discussing themes - including the biblical period and the 1492 exile from the Iberian Peninsula.