Of all the countries in the world today, Israel is the one with the most experience in dealing with terrorism. They have learned how to deal with terrorists somewhat successfully (usually the hard way) and have lost many innocent civilians to terrorism over the years. Yesterday was the anniversary of a successful encounter with terrorism.
The Israel Defense Forces Blog posted an article yesterday reminding us that yesterday was the anniversary of the hijacking of Sabena Flight 571 which occurred in 1972. That was forty years ago, and we (and Israel) are still dealing with people who want to destroy western civilization. However, there are some lessons to be learned in how Israel dealt with the hijacking.
A Sabena airlines flight was traveling from Vienna to Tel Aviv. Within minutes of takeoff terrorists had taken over the plane. The plane landed in Tel-Aviv, landing in Lod Airport (now Ben-Gurion Airport).
The article reports:
A team of 16 elite commandos (Hebrew: Sayeret Matkal) approached the grounded aircraft in white overalls, disguised as airplane technicians. They convinced the terrorists that the aircraft was in desperate need of repairs.
Within ten minutes of boarding the plane, the squad of elite commandos managed to kill the two male terrorists, arrest the two female terrorists, and neutralize the threat to the passengers. Nearly all civilians on board were unharmed, except for three, one of whom later died from her injuries. Among the commandos were Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu–both of whom eventually became Israeli prime ministers.
Regardless of how you feel about Benjamin Netanyahu, he has definitely played a role in defending and protecting his country from the time he was old enough to do so. The only unfortunate part of this story is that the female terrorists who survived the assault were later released in a prisoner exchange following the 1982 Lebanon War.
It is unfortunate that forty years after this event, we are still dealing with people who have no purpose in live other than to kill or threaten innocent civilians.