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Freeing of hostages in Entebbe
Photo: GPO
Photo: GPO
Yoni Netanyahu
Photo: GPO
British document: Israel initiated Entebbe hijack
Official government file quotes unnamed source as claiming Shin Bet cooperated with Air France flight's hijackers, PFLP group, in instigating crisis in bid to weaken PLO
The state of Israel was behind the hijacking of an Air France plane to Entebbe in 1976, and cooperated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in staging the affair, a UK government file compiled at the time of the occurrences and published by the BBC Friday revealed.

 

According to the file released by the National Archives, an unnamed contact told a British diplomat in Paris that the Shin Bet and the PFLP collaborated to seize the plane, which was hijacked in Athens and flown to Entebbe in Uganda, where 98, most of hem Israelis, were held hostage.

 

The crisis was brought to an end after Israeli commandos stormed the airport. Three Israeli hostages and one Israeli commander, Yonatan Netanyahu, were killed during the raid.

 

In the document, written on 30 June 1976 when the crisis was still unresolved, DH Colvin of the Paris Embassy wrote that according to his source, "the hijack was the work of the PFLP, with help from the Israeli Secret Service, the Shin Bet.

 

"The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO's standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans."

 

He added: "My contact said the PFLP had attracted all sorts of wild elements, some of whom had been planted by the Israelis."

 

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