PM Netanyahu Attends Memorial for Slain Brother Yoni Netanyahu Along with Family and Knesset Members

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended a memorial service on July 2, 2024, commemorating the life and legacy of his late brother, Yonatan “Yoni” Netanyahu, who was killed during the famous Entebbe raid in 1976. The ceremony was held in the presence of family members, friends, and several Knesset members, honoring Yoni’s heroism and sacrifice.

The memorial service took place at Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem, where Yoni Netanyahu is buried. The event marked the 48th anniversary of Operation Entebbe, a daring hostage-rescue mission carried out by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. Yoni, who led the operation, was the only Israeli soldier killed during the mission.

Prime Minister Netanyahu delivered an emotional speech, reflecting on his brother’s courage and dedication to the nation. “Yoni’s bravery and commitment to our country continue to inspire us all. His sacrifice reminds us of the high price we sometimes must pay for our freedom and security,” Netanyahu said. “We honor his memory and pledge to uphold the values he fought for.”

The memorial was attended by numerous dignitaries, including current and former Knesset members, who paid their respects to Yoni’s legacy. Among them was Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who praised Yoni’s leadership and the significance of the Entebbe raid in Israeli history. “Yoni Netanyahu’s actions demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership. Operation Entebbe remains a symbol of Israel’s resolve to protect its citizens, no matter the distance or difficulty,” Gallant stated.

Family members, including Yoni’s surviving brothers, Benjamin and Iddo Netanyahu, shared personal memories and reflections on Yoni’s life and impact. Iddo Netanyahu, a physician and writer, emphasized Yoni’s intellectual pursuits and deep sense of duty. “Yoni was not only a soldier but also a thinker and a compassionate individual. His dedication to his comrades and his country was unwavering,” Iddo remarked.

The ceremony also included a moment of silence and the laying of wreaths at Yoni’s grave. The somber event highlighted the enduring legacy of Yoni Netanyahu, whose actions have left an indelible mark on Israeli history.

Operation Entebbe, also known as Operation Thunderbolt, took place on July 4, 1976, when Israeli commandos rescued 102 hostages held by pro-Palestinian hijackers in Uganda. The mission, widely regarded as one of the most successful hostage rescue operations in history, showcased the bravery and skill of the IDF.

As the memorial concluded, Prime Minister Netanyahu reiterated the importance of remembering those who have sacrificed their lives for Israel’s security. “Yoni’s legacy is a guiding light for us all. We must continue to strive for a safe and secure Israel, honoring the memory of those who have given their lives for this cause,” he said.

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