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Word Count: 9,588
The name Entebbe and the operation with which it is associated hold a special place in the annals of the ongoing war against terrorism To the people of Israel and to many others it was a declaration that free men need not submit to terrorist blackmail and extortion no matter how impossible the alternatives may seem Scores of men from the Israeli Defense Force with unparalleled planning and preparation made this mission successful in what had seemed to be a hopeless situation Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Netanyahu who was killed in action in Entebbe on July 4 1976 remarked about the efforts of the IDF The basic assumption in our work is to prepare in the best possible fashion so that we may stand quietly on the day of judgement when it comes in the knowledge that we did everything we could in the time that we had At 645 on the morning of June 27 1976 Singapore Airlines flight 763 landed at Athens Airport en route from Bahrain via Kuwait Of the five disembarking passengers four headed for the transit area to check in for Air France 139 to Paris then settled down to a long wait in the transit lounge At 859 on the same morning Captain Michel Bacos at the controls of Air France 139 took off from Ben Gurion Airport on what promised to be a routine flight to Paris via Athens As the Airbus made its final approach to Athens the boarding passengers 58 in all were being processed through passport and customs formalities Nobody was on duty at the metal detector in the passenger corridor and the policeman at the fluoroscope was paying little attention to the screen at his side In the line passing through to the bus that would take them across the tarmac to flight 139 were a twenty-five year old woman traveling on an Ecuadorian passport in the name of Ortega and a
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