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Hijacking of El AL Flight 426 by PLFP, 1968

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: July 23rd, 1968




El AL Flight 426 flying from Rome to Israel was hijacked #onthisday by members of the terrorist organization, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP). For the first and last time, an El Al flight was hijacked by terrorists.


PLFP diverted the plane to Algiers shortly after taking control of the flight. When they landed they released all non-Israeli, non-Jewish passengers as well as women and children.


7 Israeli passengers and 5 Israeli crew members were held hostage for 5 weeks with the terrorists demanding Israel release convicted Palestinian prisoners inside Israel.


Finally, after 40 days of captivity, the 12 Israeli hostages were released in exchange for the release of 16 Arab terrorists. This hijacking was the longest hijacking of a commercial flight, shocked the world, and signaled the start of a wave of international terrorism at the hands of the PLFP and PLO against Jewish and Israeli targets.


After the Six Day War in 1967, the Palestinians and their backers in the Arab League realized that it was "more effective" to attack Israel in this fashion instead of the conventional wars.


They believed that killing/kidnapping Israelis away from the battlefield would get more international recognition and response for their cause to "liberate" Palestine.


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