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Operation Astropeleki: The Heroic Rescue of Entebbe's Hostages

"Operation Astropeleki" Commences for the Hijacking Incident near Corinth in 1976

On June 27, 1976, a hijacking incident that originated near Corinth prompted the Israeli military forces to undertake "Operation Astropeleki."

The Air France A300 aircraft
The Air France A300 aircraft

The targeted aircraft, an Air France A300, was en route from Tel Aviv to Paris with a layover at Hellinikon airport, carrying 248 passengers and 12 crew members.

During the flight, while the plane was over Corinth, four hijackers took control. Two of them were Palestinians affiliated with the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine," and the other two were German members of the terrorist organization known as the "Revolutionary Cores." In their demands, they insisted on the release of 40 Palestinians and 12 other individuals detained in prisons located in Kenya, Switzerland, France, and Germany.

After landing in Benghazi, Libya, the hijackers stayed there for seven hours before departing for Kampala, Uganda. Initially, the Israeli government refused to negotiate and authorized the Mossad to lead the operation and rescue the hostages.

On July 3, four Israeli Air Force jets headed to Entebbe Airport in Uganda, while another jet carrying medical supplies landed in Kenya, which was at odds with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's regime.

To deceive the locals, the Israeli jets transported a black Mercedes, giving the false impression that they were transporting the dictator himself. They proceeded to the old airport building where the hijackers held 103 Jewish hostages after releasing the others. Using Hebrew commands, they instructed the hostages to seek cover and initiated gunfire.

Within 30 minutes, the operation concluded. The casualties included all four hijackers, three hostages, and the leader of the commando unit, who was the brother of former Israeli Prime Minister Yonatan Netanyahu. The Israeli advantage stemmed from the fact that the airport had been constructed by an Israeli company, which willingly provided the military with the building plans.

The success of the operation bolstered the influence of Israel and the Mossad during a period of heightened conflicts. Although the Ugandan government condemned the incident, it took no further action under pressure from the United States.



  • "Operation Astropeleki" was a daring hostage rescue mission carried out by Israeli forces in 1976. The operation aimed to save hostages who were held captive by hijackers on an Air France flight.

  • The hijacking took place on June 27, 1976, when the aircraft was over Corinth. The hijackers, consisting of two Palestinians from the "Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine" and two German members of the terrorist organization "Revolutionary Cores," demanded the release of Palestinian and other prisoners held in various countries.

  • Israeli forces successfully executed the rescue operation on July 3 at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. With careful planning and precision, they managed to free the hostages, eliminate the hijackers, and bring an end to the crisis. The operation was a significant success for Israel and showcased their determination and capabilities in dealing with such challenging situations.


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