Israel Names New Chief of Staff for Army, Navy and Air Force

Brigadier General Yitzhak Rabin, deputy chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces since 1959, was elevated today to the post of chief of staff, heading Israel’s army, navy and air force. He will assume his new office January 1, succeeding Brigadier General Zvi Tsur, who will retire from his post on December 31.

Prime Minister Levi Eshkol announced General Rabin’s appointment at the regular weekly meeting of the Cabinet here today, and the promotion was approved by the Cabinet. Gen. Tsur, who has the post three years, expects to take a long leave before assuming another position.

Gen. Rabin, who is 41, was born in this city. He is the son of parents who were both active in the Haganah, the self-defense units of the pre-Israel Jewish settlement in Palestine. His mother became known during anti-Jewish riots here in 1920 and 1921, when she distributed arms to Jewish defenders in Jerusalem. His father served in the Jewish Battalion in World War I.

Young Rabin was educated in agriculture, excelling in his studies, and received his graduation diploma at the hands of the British High Commissioner at the time, Harold McMichael. Later, he became a member of Haganah and, still later, of Palmach, the Haganah striking force. He distinguished himself in carrying out a series of one-man missions against the British police. He commanded a force of Jewish fighters who broke into the Athlit camp where “illegal” Jewish immigrants were imprisoned, freeing all the immigrants.

During the War of Liberation in 1948-1949, he commanded a battalion which fought in Jerusalem, and later succeeded in keeping open the route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also held a number of commands on Israel’s southern front. He was Israel’s senior military officer in the negotiation of the armistice agreement with Jordan.

Later, he studied at the British Staff College at Camberley, England, and also received missile-warfare training in the United States. He is said to be highly popular with subordinates in Israel’s armed forces. He is married, and the father of two children.

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