Air France pilot from Entebbe hijacking dies at 95
Captain Michel Bacos, whose flight was hijacked by Palestinian and German terrorists on June 27, 1976 and insisted on staying with Israeli captives in Entebbe, has died aged 95.
Bacos received highest civilian decoration in France and an award from the Israeli government for the courage shown during the hijacking.
On Sunday, June 27, 1976, Air France Flight 139 departed from Tel Aviv carrying mainly Jewish and Israeli passengers.
The plane flew to Athens then for Paris, but moments later it was hijacked by two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two German terrorist, who demanded that Israel and other countries release imprisoned terrorists.
The aircraft at first was diverted to Benghazi, Libya, then continued to Entebbe, Uganda, where the passenger and crew were held in an old terminal.
Out of the total 248 passengers, more than 140 passengers, who had non-Israeli passports were released. Bacos and his 12-member crew were given the same option, but Bacos refused and ended up becoming the intermediary between the hostages and the hijackers.
On July 4, Israeli commandos freed hostages in a daring raid, know as Operation Thunderbolt, in which three hostages were killed in the rescue, as was Yoni Netanyahu, the leader of the Israeli elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and brother to future Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.