Operation Thunderbolt has gone down in history for its audacity, but the mission could have ended very differently. On June 27, 1979, the 260 passengers on board Air France flight 139 from Athens to Paris had no idea they would soon be part of one of the most daring rescue missions of all time. Everything seemed normal aboard the flight, which had made a scheduled stop over in Athens from Tel Aviv. Just 15 minutes into the journey, four of the passengers – German and Palestinian terrorists – had taken over the flight and put it on course for an unplanned destination: Entebbe, Uganda. The goal of the terrorists? The release of 53 jailed terrorists. The world watched in horror as the terrorists threatened to start executing passengers if their demands weren’t met by July 4. Outwardly, the Israeli government tried to negotiate the release of its citizens. But under the cover of secret, the army’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit began planning a daring raid to free the hostages. Flying thousands of miles, the unit, led by Colonel Yoni Netanyahu, carried out one of the most audacious raids in history. The bold operation amazed the world and gave hope to Jews across the globe that Israel would not sit by while Jewish and Israel lives were threatened. This video is a partnership between The Jewish Story and Jerusalem U. ———–