Prime Minister Netanyahu Visits Hero Brother Yoni’s Jerusalem Grave for Annual Ceremony (VIDEO)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited his elder brother’s grave on Tuesday to mark the 39th anniversary since the special operation in Entebbe where Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu was killed in action.
The prime minister participated in a ceremony at the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem with his wife, Sara Netanyahu, and brother, Iddo Netanyahu, as well as Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, former president and defense minister at the time of the Entebbe operation, Shimon Peres, Israel’s parliamentary speaker, Yuli Edelstein, and other parliamentarians and family members.
The brothers Benjamin and Iddo said a traditional memorial kaddish prayer over Yoni’s grave.
Yoni was killed leading a Sayeret Matkal assault unit during Operation Entebbe, which successfully rescued 102 Israeli hostages who were captured when Palestinian terrorists diverted a Paris-bound flight out of Tel Aviv to Uganda. He was the only Israeli soldier to die in the 90-minute operation.
Mossad Director Tamir Pardo, who was Yoni’s radioman during the operation, said the late Netanyahu was crucial to the development of counterterrorist special operations. Two operations Yoni was helping to plan at the time of Operation Entebbe were carried out successfully after his death, said Pardo.
“Both [operations] may be considered today as outstanding in their daring, in their chutzpah and creativity, and in their out-of-the-box thinking. Yoni did not live to see the realization of his dream but his dream constituted one of the most significant breakthroughs in the world of special operations,” said Pardo.
Watch a video of the grave-site ceremony below: