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Israel operatives takeover Entebbe airport


Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara speaking to the press at Ben Gurion International Airport on July 4, 2016, at the start of a trip to Africa. (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel))

There is tight security at Entebbe airport ahead of the arrival of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel operatives have taken over Entebbe airport where the Prime Minister is expected to land this afternoon.

His entourage has already set foot in Uganda and was received at Entebbe Airport by Ugandan officials.

Netanyahu, one of the most important figures in Asia, is heavily guarded by no nonsense Israel’s finest elite guards.

In 2015, his guards allegedly shoved a French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the Great Synagogue of Paris.

The incident, which they dubbed “Valls and the Gorilla”, occurred during a memorial service in the Great Synagogue of Paris for the victims of last week’s terror attacks in the city.


Israel soldiers parade at Entebbe airport behind the rescue plane used in 1976 on Monday [Photo by Don Wanyama]

According to the report, a member of Netanyahu’s security detail shoved France’s prime minister, grabbed his arm, and blocked his way.

The incident recalled a similar one that occurred in 1996; during a visit to Jerusalem, French President Jacques Chirac grew angry at the Israeli security guards, and snapped at them in English, asking: “What do you want? For me to get on the plane and return to France?”

Uganda visit 

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu boarded a plane for the same airport on a four-nation trip to Africa aimed at boosting ties between Israel and its neighbours to the south.

The Prime Minister will take part in the 40th anniversary celebrations since Israeli commandos mounted a daring rescue mission to Entebbe, Uganda.

The trip — the first visit by a sitting prime minister to sub-Saharan Africa in decades — will kick off with a ceremony today at the old Entebbe airport in Uganda, where Netanyahu will mark the 40th anniversary of one of Israel’s most legendary operations to free a group of Israeli hostages.

Speaking to the press from the tarmac of Ben Gurion International Airport before he boarded the plane at 7 a.m. Monday morning, Netanyahu called the trip “historic” and played up the visit’s role in helping to bolster ties with Africa.

“[The trip] has great importance from diplomatic, economic and security perspectives,” he said, standing flanked by his wife Sara Netanyahu and surrounded by reporters outside the El Al jet waiting to take him to Uganda, before swings through Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.


The C130 that brought Israel Commandos at Entebbe

“I’m happy that Israel is returning to Africa in a big way,” Times quotes Netanyahu as saying.

Monday’s commemoration is particularly poignant for the Israeli prime minister, since his older brother Yonatan, who commanded the elite Sayeret Matkal unit that carried out the operation, was killed during the rescue.

“All of Africa is excited about this visit. And I am excited,” Netanyahu said before boarding the plane.

On July 4, 1976, Israeli commandos, flying some 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) to Entebbe while avoiding radar, spectacularly managed, in less than an hour, to rescue 102 of 106 Israelis who had been taken hostage by Palestinian and German terrorists.

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