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December 16, 1988 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

A

cessful, the IDF is disturbed
by the violation of an ironclad
rule governing commando
operations: that no soldier,
sound or wounded, be left
behind in enemy territory.
IDF chief of staff, Lt. Gen.
Dan Shomron, promptly as-
sumed responsiblity for the
decision to leave the four men
behind.
Lt. Col. Amir Meital, 29, of
Hadera, was killed in the in-
itial assault on the terrorist
base. He was buried in
Hadera Sunday.
Meital was a battalion com-
mander in the crack Golani

brigade and a former com-
mander of its elite recon-
naissance force.
The three wounded soldiers
were reported recovering in
hospitals in Israel. Their in-
juries were described as light
to medium.
The PFLP-General Com-
mand is an extremist ter-
rorist group headed by Ahm-
ed Jabril and believed to be
supported by Syria. Jabril, a
member of the Palestine
Liberation Organization Ex-
ecutive, is believed to have
been at the Naameh base at
the time of the Israeli attack.

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Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin talks to two Russian hijackers.

MDA Ambulance
Calms Hijackers

Jerusalem — The dramatic
Soviet skyjacking which
recently concluded at Ben-
Gurion International Airport
hinged for one fateful mo-
ment of the presence of a
Magen David Adorn am-
bulance unit on the runway
turned armed fortress.
The saga began when a
gang of five men seized a
school bus of 30 children in
the Soviet Caucusus, then

'Bring me
something in
Yiddish with a Star
of David on it.

traded their young hostages
for an Aeroflot TU-154
jetliner and two million
rubles in cash. They demand-
ed to be flown to one of a
number of countries, among
them Israel, where they in-
deed landed at 10 p.m. the
next day.
As the Soviet plane circled
the airport, all lights were
turned off except for the one
strip designated for use by the
seized airliner. As soon as it
landed, it was towed to a

remote parking area, escorted
by a heavily armed convoy.
At this point the gang grew
tense, suspecting that the
Soviet pilots had tricked them
and landed not in Israel but
in the Soviet client state
Syria. The lead skyjacker ap-
peared in the aircraft's open
door brandishing a weapon
and demanding immediate
proof that they had indeed ar-
rived in Israel and not an
Arab country.
Israeli negotiators asked
what sort of proof was re-
quired, and they were told,
"Bring me something in Yid-
dish with a Star of David on
it."
Within moments a nearby
Magen David Adom am-
bulance, on standby alert, rac-
ed within eyesight of the door,
allaying the criminal's fears,
Less than 10 minutes later,
the gang had surrendered
their arms and themselves to
Israeli police. By the
weekend's conclusion, they
were on their way back to face
punishment in the USSR,
even while Soviet-Israel
diplomatic relations enjoyed
an instant boost.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

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