Israel Army Chief of Staff Resigns; Makleff Named New Head

The Israel Cabinet today accepted “with regret” the resignation of Gen. Yigal Yadin as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Army and immediately named Gen. Mordechai Makleff his successor. Gen. Makleff at 32 is believed to be the youngest Chief of Staff of an army anywhere in the world.

At a brief ceremony in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Ben Gurion, who is also Minister of Defense, read Gen. Yadin’s letter of resignation. Afterwards, with the Ministers lined up on one side of the room and high ranking Army officers on the other, Gen. Yadin handed over his standard as Chief of Staff to Mr. Ben Gurion. Mr. Ben Gurion then read the official proclamation appointing Gen. Makleff and handed the standard to him.

After accepting the symbol of his new rank, Gen. Makleff said: “I thank you for the confidence you have placed in me. I know what a difficult and dangerous job we face: our army is the army of a small state encircled by many enemies plotting against our safety. But with your guidance and the help of the Premier-Minister of Defense as well as my colleagues. I hope to stand up to the task of securing our state.”

Gen. Makleff, who was born at Motza, a suburb of Jerusalem, was left an orphan when his parents were murdered by Arabs in the riots of 1929. He served with the Jewish Brigade and with the British Army. When the war with the Arab states ended in an armistice in 1948, he was commander of the northern front. For the past two years he has been second in command of the Israel forces. He recently returned from studying abroad and from inspection tours of British, European and American forces based in Europe.

Gen. Yadin has served as Chief of Staff for the past three years. Unofficial reports state that the General, who is one of Israel’s leading archaeologists, will now devote himself to his studies.

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