Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who was the 15th Chief of Staff of the IDF and two-time Citation of Valor awardee, was laid to rest Thursday at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul.
The President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister and IDF generals paid tribute to their former comrade. His three sons said Kaddish.
"You were rare in your courage," said President Shimon Peres in his eulogy. "Rare in your wisdom. Rare in your honesty. A man with a clean path and depth of thought. All your life, you sought and found ways to contribute, and you never expected anything in return for your contributions."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Lipkin-Shahak was "a courageous fighter, on and off the battlefield. A Zionist patriot; a leader who showed the way, and exceptionally brave. One of the unique few who made the IDF what it is today."
"A few days ago, I heard that the disease had gotten much worse and that Amnon would not be taking any more medication, in effect," Netanyahu said. Looking at Lipkin-Shahak's widow, Tali, he continued: "I called you, Tali, who were next to him in all of the stations and helped him. After we spoke, you passed him the phone and this was a conversation I will never forget, which sent a chill down my spine.
"Amnon spoke and his voice was weak and quiet, but his speech was clear, clean and eloquent. He spoke about the country. He spoke about the duty of the person who heads the country. He did not speak about himself and his illness. He moved me to the depth of my soul.
"I think that was Amnon's essence. Nobleness of spirit, devotion to the country and courage. A real hero."