JERUSALEM (Feb. 22)
Yoel Palgi, who during World War II was one of a group of Jewish residents of Palestine who volunteered to parachute behind the German lines, died yesterday of a heart attack. He was 60. Palgi, who was born in Cluj, Hungary, came to Palestine in 1939. In 1944 he was part of a group that included Hanna Senesh that parachuted into Hungary and Yugoslavia in an attempt to save Jews. His book about that period, “The Great Storm Arose,” is part of the Israeli school curriculum.
With the establishment of the State of Israel, Palgi created the paratroop corps and became its first commander. He was one of the founders of EI AI and was its deputy director from 1949-60. He had also served as director of civil aviation in the Transport Ministry and served as Ambassador to Tanganyika. Most recently Palgi was director of construction for Kupat Holim, the Histadrut sick-fund.