A declassified recording of Israeli special forces during the 1975 Savoy Hotel attack revealed how they negotiated with Palestinian terrorists while planning the raid that killed them.
The recording from the March 4, 1975 attack in Tel Aviv was aired for the first time on Army Radio on Thursday, after it release by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. Carried out by eight Palestine Liberation Organization terrorists, the Savoy Hotel attack ended with seven of the eight perpetrators dead, along with seven civilian hostages and three Israeli soldiers.
In the recording of a telephone conversation that took place six hours before the Sayeret Matkal commando unit stormed the besieged hotel, the chief negotiator for the Israeli counter-terrorism team spoke with a hostage who served as translator to communicate with the terrorists.
“They’re saying they just want to live with us in peace and that if they are allowed to leave, everything will be alright,” the hostage, Kochava Levy, is heard saying in Hebrew. Rubi Peled, the negotiator, answered: “That’s the plan. Tell them there is no intention to play games here, just keep the hostages safe.”
The terrorists also demanded the French ambassador come to discuss the terms of their extraction from the hotel, which they had reached by boat.
When commando troops breached the perimeter, the terrorists set off explosive charges that blew up the hotel’s top floor.
The attack was one of the worst takeover and siege situations that Palestinian terrorists carried out in Tel Aviv.