(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a tour of East Africa by marking the 40th anniversary of the raid at Entebbe that killed his brother.
“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.
His older brother, Yoni, 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.
On his tour traveling with 80 businessmen in order to cultivate trade ties in Africa, Netanyahu will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia; he will address the Ethiopian parliament. In Uganda, the prime minister will meet with leaders from countries as well as Zambia, Tanzania and South Sudan.
Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to visit sub-Saharan Africa since 1987.