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A Short Biography about Sassy Reuven

Sasson “Sassy” Reuven was born in K’far Saba Israel in 1954 and is a veteran of the Israel Defense Forces. He joined the IDF in 1973— the day of the Yom Kippur War ceasefire and volunteered to serve in the IDF's elite Red Beret Paratrooper 890 unit. He has participated in several covert operations in Israel's mighty struggle with those who seek to destroy her and the Jewish people.

Four months before the end of his service, in June of 1976, he took part in Operation Thunderbolt, a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda, considered by many the greatest hostage rescue in history.

A week earlier, on June 27, 1976, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO) and the German Revolutionary Cell (CZ), hijacked an Air France plane with 248 passengers in route to Paris from Tel Aviv, Israel. The hijackers rerouted the plane to Entebbe, Uganda, where the local government and dictator Idi Amin supported the terrorists. While many of the non-Jewish hostages were released, more than 100 Israeli and Jewish passengers remained. The non-Jewish pilot, Captain Bacos, and his crew, heroically chose to stay behind with the hostages. The hijackers threatened to kill the hostages if their demands to release 58 detained terrorists were not met. This threat led directly to the rescue operation Raid on Entebbe.

While on duty in the Golan Heights, Sassy was called to take part in the Raid on Entebbe. On July 3rd and 4th, 1976, Sassy, along with the members of his elite unit, flew through the night in hostile territory from Israel to Entebbe to free the hostages. He was among the first to jump out of the Hercules C130 transport aircraft as it slowly taxied on the Entebbe airport runways. His story takes you through the preparation of the mission, to its completion with the safe return of the hostages to Israel.

Sassy completed his IDF service in November of 1976. Four months into his civilian life, he was called to join a special infantry reserve unit and was seriously injured from a bullet fire. After several years and a number of surgeries his leg was saved. While convalescing from his injury he returned to Ben Gurion University in the study of Civil Engineering. Two years later, Sassy was accepted into Brooklyn Polytechnic (today NYU) where he completed his studies and received his BSc. degree in Civil Engineering. While in New York he worked for the government of Israel and was part of El-Al Israel Airlines security.

In 1985 he was promoted to head the El-Al Los Angeles airport (LAX) security and met his future wife Susan who worked at El-Al as cargo sales manager. Married in 1987, Sassy and his wife Susan have 3 wonderful children ages 27, 23 and 15. He worked as an executive for a few construction development companies in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Sassy now lives in Calabasas, California where he owns and operates a construction company, AMD Development, Inc. He also travels around the world making presentations describing his experiences in rescuing and freeing 106 Jewish hostages held at great risk by terrorists in Entebbe, Uganda.

Sassy's story is Israel's story: one of courage, endurance, defiance, and willingness to sacrifice it all, for the right to live in peace as a Jew.

'HIJACK OF A PEOPLE' | Friday, May 20, 2016
'THE RESCUE THAT STUNNED THE WORLD' | Saturday, May 21, 2016

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