Rami Sherman lives in a kibbutz in northern Israel.
46 years ago, Rami was the Operations Officer of the Sayeret Matkal Commando unit in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force when the news filtered through that an Air France plane had been hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. The plane ended up in Entebbe, Uganda.
Yitzhak Rabin and his defense minister Shimon Peres were fierce political rivals and they spent a week disagreeing on strategy. Rabin wanted acquiesce to the terrorists’ demands — the exchange of the Jewish hostages for 40 incarcerated Palestinian militants and a good deal of money; Peres thought such a response would encourage more terror.
Rabin gave in and authorised the rescue after the terrorists’ extended their deadline — from July 1st to the 4th which gave Israeli military chiefs enough time to come up with a viable plan.
The operation was codenamed Operation Thunderbolt, subsequently changed to Operation Yonatan and the order came to Sayeret Matkal and two other commando units that they were up for a top secret mission.
Rami speaks with Wilderness conversations and recalls the scarcely credible events of July 4th 1976 when he and elite forces of the IDF rescued 102 Jewish and Israeli hostages from capture in Entebbe, Uganda.