The modern era of global terrorism was launched on Sept. 6, 1970, when Palestinian hijackers tried to seize four commercial airliners bound for New York and land them at a remote landing strip in the Jordanian desert. Until Sept. 11, the date was known as "the blackest day in aviation history."
The capture of a massive Palestinian arms shipment 300 miles down the Red Sea from Eilat has revived Israel's spirit after 15 demoralizing months of intifada mayhem. "This is what we are trained for," exulted a senior security officer. Every-one invoked the 1976 Entebbe rescue of hijacked airline passengers.