Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Airlifting Operation

“Every agency in the State of Israel, like security service (Shin Bet) or Health Services had to deal with the issues in its field and provide solutions”. Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Airlifting Operation

Operation “Solomon” became one of the most historic and memorable operations in the history of the State of Israel Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Airlifting Operation

we needed big planes and we wanted to use Jumbo jets from EL-AL and put many people inside, with two people per seat Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Airlifting Operation

Within 34 hours, the participants of the flash operation managed to bring 14,000 people to Israel Behind the Scenes of the Greatest Airlifting Operation

The goal: to airlift as many Jews to Israel as possible before the city fell to the rebels This week marks 23 years since Operation “Solomon”, the largest airlifting operation of Ethiopian Jews. In order for the operation to be successfully executed, the IAF had to plan it months in advance. IAF Site gives you a peek behind the scenes of the operation that brought 14,000 Jews to Israel

Shani Pomes

On the morning of May 24th 1991, IAF and EL-AL heavy transport planes took off from Ben Gurion airport in Lod towards the airport in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The goal: to airlift as many Jews to Israel as possible before the city fell to the rebels.
The results: unbelievable. Within 34 hours, the participants of the flash operation managed to bring 14,000 people to Israel.
Thus, Operation “Solomon” became one of the most historic and memorable operations in the history of the State of Israel.
Despite the passing years, the IAF remembers the complexity of planning the operation and its execution.
“Half a year before the operation, I was at the squadron and I received a phone call from the head of the Operations Department”, recalls Lieutenant Colonel (res.) C’, who was responsible for the planning and execution. “There was a huge range of things that had to be taken care of. Every agency in the State of Israel, like security service (Shin Bet) or Health Services had to deal with the issues in its field and provide solutions”.

Down To the Smallest Details

Over the months preceding the operation in May, 1991, the officers involved in planning in the IAF had to deal with problems that were likely to arise during the airlifting of thousands of civilians.
“There were things that we dealt with for the first time ever. For example, we needed big planes and we wanted to use Jumbo jets from EL-AL and put many people inside, with two people per seat. A flight like that did not meet civil aviation standards but we did it”.

 

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