Photo Credit: Ya'acov Sa'ar / GPO
Operation Entebbe, July 4 1976

The hero pilot of the hijacked Air France passenger plane who refused to abandon his Jewish and Israeli passengers to their terrorist captors after the plane was grounded at Entebbe Airport in Uganda has passed away at the age 95.

Michel Bacos died Tuesday in Nice, according to the city’s mayor, Christian Estrosi, who made the announcement in a statement.

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“By refusing with bravery to quit in the face of anti-Semitism and barbary, he honored France,” Estrosi said.

Bacos was awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, for refusing to leave the passengers in Entebbe in June 1976 after the seven hijackers rounded up the passengers and separated the Jews and Israelis from the gentiles, whom they freed.

At the end, Israeli commandos led by Yoni Netanyahu successfully carried out a daring raid to free the captives. The sole casualty of that raid was Netanyahu, whose brother Benjamin Netanyahu is currently Israel’s prime minister.

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