Author David Raab, who survived one of history’s most audacious terrorist acts, spoke with Israel National Radio’s Eve Harrow about his new book, “Terror in Black September.”Click here to read the whole interview.
Raab spoke about his decision, years later, to compile archived documents and testimony surrounding the three-week drama of being held as a hostage by PLO terrorists in Jordan in 1970. He also revealed a result of the hijackings the terrorists never intended: Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel).
“The situation in Jordan then was very similar to what was going on in Gaza just a few months ago, with the Palestinian Authority nominally in charge but in fact Hamas running rampant through the streets, running its own checkpoints and basically a state within a state,” Raab explains of the political environment surrounding the episode. “In 1970, Yasser Arafat and the PLO were playing [the Hamas] role and King Hussein was at his wits end.”
On Sunday, September 6, 1970, 17-year-old Raab, his mother and his four younger siblings boarded a plane in Tel Aviv after spending the summer in Israel. TWA flight 741 was heading back to the US when it had to make a stop in Germany. “In those days planes couldn’t make it all the way across the pond so we landed at Frankfurt to refuel and pick up more passengers,” Raab recalls. “A few minutes out of Frankfurt we heard a scream from the back and a man and a woman, the woman carrying two hand grenades, ran down the aisle. We had been hijacked and the plane was turned around.”