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Israelis You Should Know: Yitzhak Pundak

Yitzhak Pundak receives IDF commendation (Photo: IDF Spokesperson)

This past weekend, Israel lost a true hero. Yitzhak Pundak had served with the IDF since its inception, and reports Israel Hayom's Lilach Shoval, had been promoted to general at the age of 100:

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yitzhak Pundak passed away Sunday morning at the age of 104. Pundak received the rank of major general just four years ago, at the age of 100. He was the first officer to receive the rank of major general after retiring from the Israel Defense Forces.

Born in Poland in 1913, Pundak moved to then-Palestine in 1933 and joined the Haganah prestate Zionist militia. In 1939, he passed the Haganah's division commander course at Yavne'el. He would later serve as the chief instructor of the course and deputy commander of the Gadna youth battalions...

During the 1948 War of Independence, Pundak founded the Givati Brigade's 53rd battalion, which fought in the areas around Tel Aviv. He was later transferred to the southern front, where he was involved in the battle for the village of al-Faluja. In August 1948, he became commander of the Infantry Corps' Oded Brigade. The following year, he was made commander of the Jerusalem Brigade.

Between 1949 and 1951, Pundak served as the first commander of the Nahal Command. During his tenure, a series of outposts were established along Israel's borders. In 1953 he was named the first commander of the IDF's Armored Corps...

An IDF statement released Sunday said, "Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the General Staff, IDF commanders and soldiers in regular and reserve service bow their heads in mourning over the death of Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yitzhak Pundak. The IDF salutes him for his work, his legacy and his long-standing contribution to Israel's security..."

May his memory be a blessing.

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