‘Yoni was wounded within reach of me’

On the 40th anniversary of Operation Entebbe, former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo wrote an article for Yedioth Aharonoth reenacting every step of the legendary rescue operation from his point as view as the communications officer of Sayeret Matkal.

The elite special ops force, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's heroic brother Col. Yoni Netanyahu, rescued over 100 Jewish hostages from the Ugandan airport on July 4, 1976, after the hostage's plane was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Netanyahu fell in battle during the mission, becoming the only military casualty in the daring rescue.

Ahead of the publication of Pardo's full article, Yedioth Aharonoth published a section from it describing the moments in which Netanyahu was wounded.

"According to the plan we were supposed to arrive with the vehicles at the unloading point adjacent to the terminal, with the first volley of gunfire supposed to be coming at the penetration (of the site)," wrote Pardo.

"But life doesn't work according to plan, and the first gunfire came while (we were) still in movement, on the track, from inside the Mercedes of Yoni Netanyahu and (Moshe) 'Muki' Batzar," he said, noting how some of the element of surprise was lost.

"Another few seconds and we are unloading the vehicles. While running I am sticking to Yoni. Gunfire broke out from the tower, and as far as I remember a Ugandan soldier who was next to the terminal also fired."

"Yoni was wounded within reach of me. A half twist of the body and he fell. I remember that I said on the walkie-talkie: 'Yoni is wounded.' David (Hassin) the doctor came to him and I joined (Giora) Zussman's group."

"On the way I shoot towards the soldier who as far as I understood wounded Yoni at the time. Bullets fired from the tower send asphalt shards flying and scratch my hand."

"I pass next to another terrorist who is lying on the ground. I don't know if he is killed or wounded, and I shoot him. And then it's over, I'm on the communications calling to 'Muki,' and the command transfers (from Netanyahu) to him," concluded Pardo.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/213422

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