Raid on Entebbe is a 1977 NBC television film directed by Irvin Kershner. It is based on an actual event: Operation Entebbe and the freeing of hostages at Entebbe Airport in Entebbe, Uganda, on July 4, 1976. The portrayal of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was Peter Finch’s final performance; he died five days after the film’s release.
On 27 June 1976, four terrorists belonging to a splinter group of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine under the orders of Wadie Haddad boarded and hijacked an Air France Airbus A300 at Athens. With President Idi Amin’s blessing, the terrorists divert the airliner and its hostages to Entebbe Airport in Uganda. After identifying Israeli passengers, the non-Jewish passengers are freed while a series of demands are made, including the release of 40 Palestinian militants held in Israel, in exchange for the hostages.
The Cabinet of Israel, led by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, unwilling to give in to terrorist demands, is faced with difficult decisions as their deliberations lead to a top-secret military raid. The difficult and daring commando operation, “Operation Thunderbolt”, will be carried out over 2,500 miles (4 000 km) from home and will take place on the Jewish Sabbath.