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PM Modi strikes deep chord with Isreali counterpart Netanyahu, remembers his brother Yonathan killed in Operation Entebbe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Three-day Visit To Israel, The First Ever By An Indian Prime Minister To The Middle East Nation Has Been Dubbed As A Historic Trip By Strategic Affairs Pundits To Bolster The Diplomatic Ties Between The Two Nations.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Gautam Lalotra | Updated on: 05 Jul 2017, 01:43:51 PM
PM Narendra Modi - File Photo

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister to the Middle East nation has been dubbed as a historic trip by strategic affairs pundits to bolster the diplomatic ties between the two nations.

At the red carpet welcome at Tel Aviv airport, Isreal's Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu started off the diplomatic accord on a high by announcing cooperation in the space domain, likely to be an MoU between ISRO and Israel Space Agency (ISA) to launch satellites together. “The sky is not the limit for our relationship, given our plans in space together,” he said.

PM Modi was equal in his response by providing an apt acronym to the India-Israel relationship, describing it as “I-square T-square” (Indian Talent and Israeli Technology; India-Israel ties for tomorrow). PM Modi then in his characteristic fashion played a master stroke by making a personal reference to terrorism, recalling that Tuesday marked the 41st anniversary of Operation Entebbe, the valiant military rescue of Israeli hostages from a plane held hostage by Palestinian militants in Uganda that was led by Mr. Netanyahu’s brother Jonathan, who was killed during the operation.

“The gesture of PM Modi to remember the PM’s brother was thoughtful, and touched a chord,” Michael Oren, Deputy Minister in Mr. Netanyahu’s office told The Hindu .” Later on Tuesday, after a visit to the Israel Holocaust memorial, Mr Modi said, “Yad Vashem is a reminder of the unspeakable evil inflicted generations ago.

It is notable that Lt Col Yonatan  Netanyahu, elder brother of Isreal's PM Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu laid his life at the prime age of 30 during Israel's tactically brilliant overnight raid on Entebbe airport in Uganda to release 100 hostages held for a week by German and Arab terrorists. Around 102 out of 106 people, who were held hostage, were rescued by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) but Yonatan was the one defence personnel who lost his life.

The 99-minute operation had become a classic case study for military bravado, the storyline for three hit movies, taught and studied by armies around the world. Uganda, which had touched a diplomatic nadir with Israel, turned their former embassy building in Uganda into a Palestine Liberation Organisation office, was quick to give the hijackers affiliated to the Palestinian group permission to land the plane at Entebbe. Uganda went ahead to take part in negotiations for the hijacker's demands.

The eight-day ordeal started on 27 June, 1976, when Air France flight 139 Airbus A300B4-2013, left the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for Paris. Planning for the rescue took a week and while there was a political and a military solution, in the end, the military rescue operation seized the day.

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First Published : 05 Jul 2017, 01:27:00 PM