By the Rivers of Babylon is a 1978 novel by prolific author of thrillers Nelson DeMille. This particular story involves the sabotage of aircraft carrying Israeli officials by a group of Palestinian terrorists. Surviving passengers are subsequently forced to defend themselves with a small number of weapons against the Palestinians seeking to capture or kill them. The crash occurred in the ancient region of Babylon -- modern day Iraq -- and the Jewish survivors are surrounded by mostly hostile populations in addition to the team of Palestinian commandos in pursuit. The title refers to the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which run through Iraq before merging into the Shatt al-Arab waterway straddling the frontier between Iraq and Iran. The supersonic passenger jet in which the Israeli delegation to peace talks is traveling crashes in the region between the rivers. The Israeli survivors ultimately succeed in reaching safety after fashioning a boat of-sorts out of the wreckage of the passenger jet's fuselage and letting it coast down the river, during which time it is met by a team of Israeli commandos in rubber rafts who have been sent to rescue their hunted brethren.