The Story of The Most Heroic Hijacking Rescue inside the Land of Israel

On May 8, 1972, four Black September terrorists hijacked Sabena Airlines Flight 571 on its route from Vienna to Tel Aviv. They demanded the release of 315 terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails and threatened to blow up the plane with its passengers if their demands weren’t met.

Thinking quickly, Israeli leaders launched a plan to send the elite commando Sayeret Matkal unit to storm the plane as it sat on the runway.

At the time, former Prime Minister Shimon Peres was a minister in the government while former Prime Minister Ehud Barak was a commander of the Sayeret Matkal force and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a commando serving under him.

What makes this video unique is that it is full of interviews with passengers, all three prime ministers as well as the surviving hijacker Theresa Halsa. Shockingly, Halsa admits she had really wanted to blow up the plane full of innocent passengers.

When Netanyahu spoke at the film’s premiere in Jerusalem in September, he recalled that in the 1970s, “terrorists were like preying animals, grabbing planes, kidnapping passengers and threatening to kill them and sometimes doing so.” The “most important lesson” of this era for Israel, he said, “is that it was not merely sophisticated military expertise but our determination and our daring against those who threaten us that curbed this particular form of terrorism.”



Published: May 10, 2015
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