Operation Jonathan

59mm Bronze Medal

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Issuing Year 1976
Material Bronze
Fineness Tombac
Weight 98 gr
Diameter 59.0 mm
Max Mintage 42057
Design Rothschild and Lippman, The Shamir Brothers.

Operation Jonathan
State Medal, 5736-1976

On June 27, 1976, terrorists took over an "Air France" plane, flying the Tel-Aviv to Paris route, and forced the pilot to land the plane at an old hanger in Entebbe, Uganda. There the plane was met by Ugandan soldiers, as well as terrorists of 'The Front for the Liberation of Palestine", armed to the teeth and carrying quantities of explosives. The 246 passengers were locked into a dusty building. The terrorists demanded that 53 terrorists, tried and sentenced, should be delivered to them in exchange for the imprisoned passengers. They set a deadline at the end of which the hostages were to pay with their lives, if their demands were not met. The Government of Israel resolved not to succumb to terror, but to liberate the hostages by a daring military operation. On 3rd July, after all diplomatic efforts failed, and the deadline of the ultimatum was near, a task force departed by plane the flight lasting several hours, to a destination 4,000 kms away from Israel. In a lightning strike, the terrorists were killed amid a hail of fire exchanged with the Ugandan forces and the hostages were whisked away to the waiting Israeli planes. In the exchange of fire, Colonel Jonathan Natanyahu, commander of the task force, was wounded and died. The Entebbe rescue operation was later named after him - "The Jonathan Operation".

Obverse: The IDF emblem with the olive branch entwined around the silhouette of an air force plane. A legend: "Operation Jonathan 6Tamuz 5736" in Hebrew. The English translation bearing the date "4th July, 1976".

Reverse: The verse: "He sent from above and took me" (Psalm 18:17) in Hebrew and in English.

Edge: The State emblem and the words "State of Israel" in Hebrew and in English. The silver medal minted by Hecht bear "Silver 935" in Hebrew and "Silver" in English. The medals minted by Kretschmer have "Sterling" in English. The gold medals bear "Gold 900".

Serialization: All the medals are numbered. Bronze - numbered 43810; melted 1713. Silver - numbered to 22625; 436 were not minted, 1744 were melted. Gold - 11343 were numbered; 470 were melted.

Designer: Obverse - Rothschild and Lippman ("Roli"). Reverse - The Shamir Brothers.

Engraving: Moshe Nov.

Mint: 59mm Bronze - 34357 minted by Hecht. 9453 minted by Kretschmer. Total 43810 medals, 1713 melted. 59mm Silver - 1 5974 minted by Hecht. 621 5 minted by Kretschmer. Total 22189 medals. 1744 melted. Gold - Israel Government Mint, Jerusalem.

Issue Name: Operation Jonathan

Series Name: IDF & Israels Campaigns

Catalog SKU Condition Diameter Issue Price Issuing Year Material Quantity Weight
35063350 35.0 mm 3,500 IL 1976 Gold/900 10873 30 gr
25063594 59.0 mm 441 IL 1976 Silver/935 20409 115 gr
15063592 59.0 mm 55 IL 1976 Bronze/Tombac 42057 98 gr