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Gen. Yaakov Dori, First Chief of Staff of Israel’s Armed Forces, Dead at 73

January 30, 1973
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Gen. Yaakov Dori? the first Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces and a former president of the Israel Institute of Technology (Haifa Technion), died today in Haifa after a long illness. He was 73. A State funeral will be held on the Haifa Technion Mt. Carmel campus. No date was announced.

Gen. Dori was born Yaakov Dostrovsky in Haifa in 1899 and was graduated in 1917 from the Reali School there. He joined the Jewish Legion, a Jewish military unit attached to British forces in the Middle East during World War I. He served with the 40th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, lst Judaeans, and saw action against the Turks in the Jordan Valley and Sinai Peninsula. He was discharged with the rank of sergeant.

Gen. Dori studied engineering at the University of Ghent, Belgium, after the war and in 1926 became deputy head of the Jewish Agency’s technical department in Jerusalem. He was one of the early organizers of Haganah and in 1929 was named commander of Haganah in Haifa. During World War II he was appointed Chief of Staff of Haganah but like other Haganah soldiers, served anonymously.

With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Gen. Dori emerged with the rank of Maj Gen. and was appointed Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces during his nation’s war for independence. He retired from the Army in 1950 and was named head of the Science Department of the Prime Minister’s Office. Gen. Dori served as president of the Technion from 1951-65.

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