Operation Thunderbolt - July 4, 1976

Considered as one of the most successful special forces missions in modern history, Operation Thunderbolt was an IDF airborne raid to rescue the passengers of an Air France plane, who was kidnapped by four terrorists few days earlier and was forced to land in the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Sayeret MATKAL was tasked with storming the terminal were the hostage were held, and was aided by a large contingent of special and regular forces from the Tzanhanim  and Golani infantry brigades tasked with perimeter security and other supporting missions.

Four hostages and Sayeret MATKAL CO, Yoni Netanyahu, were killed during the raid along with all kidnappers and multiple Ugandan soldiers.

The three field commanders of Operational Thunderbolt seen here during training for the operation in 1976. Left to right - Yoni Netanyahu (Sayeret MATKAL) armed with a folding stock AK47, Uri Sagi (Golani brigade) and Matan Vilnayee (Tzanhanim  brigade).

Sayeret MATKAL operators standing next to a Mercedes Benz used in the Entebbe raid, and was disguised as Uganda's president Idi Amin's personal vehicle.

Operations Guide