(JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a tour of East Africa by marking the 40th anniversary of the raid at Entebbe.
“We were powerless no more,” Netanyahu said Monday of the July 4, 1976 Israeli commando raid on the Ugandan airport where German and Palestinian terrorists were holding more than 100 Israelis hostage after having hijacked a plane.
Netanyahu’s older brother, Yoni Netanyahu, who commanded the rescue unit, was killed in the raid.
Netanyahu laid a wreath at a plaque marking the rescue. Also speaking at the commemoration was Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Netanyahu during his tour will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia and will address the Ethiopian parliament. He will meet in Uganda with a summit of leaders including leaders of those countries as well as Zambia, Tanzania and South Sudan. He is traveling with 80 businessmen in order to cultivate trade ties in Africa.
Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit sub-Saharan Africa since 1987.