Six-Day War Hero Buried

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Gen. Mordechai (Moti) Hod, head of the IAF during the Six-Day War and considered to be the architect of that victory, died yesterday at the age of 77 after a long illness. Hundreds of relatives and friends participated in his funeral this afternoon in Kiryat Sha'ul, Tel Aviv.

Former President Ezer Weizman said that Hod, a founder of the Israel Air Force, will always be remembered as the one who convinced the government to attack the Arab air forces on the first day of the Six-Day War. In fact, after three weeks of national nail-biting in the face of Egyptian and Syrian threats to drive Israel into the sea, Hod's announcement on June 5, 1967 that the Arab countries' air forces had been destroyed - almost 450 aircraft of Egypt, Syria, and Iraq in three hours - capped off one of the most dramatic events in Israeli history.

Former Air Force Commander Gen. (res.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, who participated in the raid as a pilot, told Arutz-7 this morning, "We planned for this attack for years beforehand, under Gen. Hod's supervision… When we finally set off on this mission, there was total radio silence until after we dropped our first bombs and the surprise element had ended… There were of course some emergency moments, and we in fact lost 20 planes during that attack… Under his command, some 200 planes set out at a very low altitude, practically touching the treetops, towards the targets in Egypt, Syria, and later in Jordan…" Ben-Eliyahu said that Hod had an instinctive understanding of combat aviation strategy, "and was very modest and not aggressive."