Yom Kippur War Hero Ben-Gal Passes Away

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Avigdor "Yanush" Ben-Gal is a former Israeli General. Sep 27 2010. Photo by Moshe Shai/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** éàðåù áï âì âðøì àáéâãåø
Avigdor “Yanush” Ben-Gal, a former Israeli General. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The funeral for IDF Reserve General Avigdor (Yanush) Ben-Gal will be held Sunday afternoon in Tel Aviv, after the 79-year-old soldier passed away over the weekend. Ben-Gal is considered one of the heroes of the Yom Kippur War, succeeding in turning back the Syrian invasion of the Golan during the war and leading Israeli tanks to the gates of Damascus.

As commander of the Seventh Armored Brigade during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Ben-Gal was responsible for preventing the Syrians from breaching a line that his tank brigade was defending. Despite overwhelming Syrian forces, with Hashem’s help the Israeli forces managed to hold the line – and when Israeli reinforcements arrived, they began driving back the Syrians, over the 1967 armistice line to within 20 miles of Damascus.

Ben-Gal later commanded the IDF’s Northern Command between 1977 and 1981. Upon retirement from the army, he worked in the corporate and technology world, including as a member of the Board of Directors of Israel Aerospace Industries and NSO Group Technologies.

Ben-Gal was eulogized by a wide array of MKs and IDF officials, current and former. Speaking Motzoei Shabbos, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that “during the darkest days of the Yom Kippur War, when the fate of Israel hung in the balance, Yanush and his brave soldiers defended our northern border with their bodies. They blocked the Syrian advance and afterwards went on the offensive that led the IDF to the gates of Damascus. Yanush was a dedicated soldier with extraordinary courage and inspiration. He will be remembered as one of Israel’s greatest commanders.”