Film on 1976 hijacking of airliner illuminates Israeli-Palestinian conflict: director

Vastavam web: A film depicting the 1976 hijacking of an airliner to Entebbe, Uganda and the spectacular rescue of passengers by Israeli commandos casts light on the enduring obstacles to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, its director said.“7 Days in Entebbe”, which premiered on Monday at the Berlin film festival, focuses on the hostages and their hijackers – two militants from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two from an allied West German ultra-leftist group.Separating Israeli from non-Israelis after removing them from the plane, the hijackers freed 148 non-Israeli passengers over the course of several days and kept 94 mainly Israeli passengers along with the 12 crew members, threatening to kill them if their demands were not met.

In the film, as terrified hostages await their fate in a grimy, disused airport terminal building, Israeli politicians debate whether to negotiate with the hijackers – who want dozens of imprisoned Palestinian guerrillas and other militants freed – but ultimately decide on the rescue mission.The only death among the commandos was their commander Yonatan Netanyahu, eldest brother of current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who became a national hero.

Director Jose Padilha said it was difficult for Israeli or Palestinian politicians to negotiate because those who do so lose political clout among their compatriots – something he wanted to demonstrate in his movie.