Middle East

Former Israeli intelligence boss dies

Yitzhak Hofi, the former head of Israel's spy agency, has died at the age of 87.

A former head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service, Yitzhak Hofi, who played a key role in a 1976 Entebbe operation to free the passengers of a hijacked plane, has died at age 87.

Hofi, who led Mossad between 1974 and 1982, played a prominent role in planning Operation Entebbe.

The mission carried out by Israeli troops in July 1976 to rescue the more than 250 passengers and crew of an Air France plane hijacked by leftist Palestinian and German militants and flown to Entebbe in Uganda.

The hostages were freed by Israeli commandos in a raid on the airport and the brother of now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jonathan, was killed in the operation.

Before commanding Mossad, Hofi was commander of Israel's northern military region and headed operations against Syria in the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

"Yitzhak Hofi dedicated his life to the security of the state of Israel, which salutes him for his contribution," Netanyahu said in a statement following Hofi's death on Monday.

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