Israeli media group Keshet plans to air its new docu-drama “Sabena Hijacking – My Version,” recalling the events behind the May 8, 1972, event that riveted Israel as a special forces team stormed a hijacked aircraft at Tel Aviv’s Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion Intl. Airport) and pulled off the stunning rescue of its passengers and crew.
The made-for-TV movie features exclusive interviews with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who led the team of soldiers, as well as former prime minister Ehud Barak, former president Shimon Peres, and the sole surviving hijacker, Therese Halsa, who was 18 at the time.
Keshet Intl. (KI), the global distribution arm of Keshet Media Group, holds worldwide rights to the docu-drama and will distribute “Sabena Hijacking” as the first of several TV projects centered on Israel’s most elite soldiers. Keshet is rolling out a series of global screenings beginning May 8, which will be followed by an Israeli television premiere of the project.
Nati Dinnar produced alongside United King Films and the Israeli Film Fund.
The Palestinian terror group Black September had hijacked the craft and separated passengers into groups of Jews and non-Jews. They declared that they would blow up the plane if Israel did not release hundreds of Palestinians serving prison terms for charges of terrorism.
A team of elite Israeli soldiers, including Netanyahu and Barak, were able to gain access to the plane by dressing up as aircraft technicians. They stormed the aircraft and released all the prisoners, killing several of the terrorists in the process. Halsa, one of two female terrorists involved in the plot, was convicted and jailed but released in a prisoner swap after serving only 13 years of her sentence. The film juxtaposes her version of events alongside those of Israel’s soldiers-cum-politicians, interwoven with archive material and cinematic reenactment of the events.