IDF Marks Passing of Chief of Staff Moshe Levy

The State of Israel and IDF marked January 8 as the anniversary of the passing of the IDF's 12th Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Levy.

Chana Ya'ar ,

Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Levy z'l
Former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Levy z'l
Israel news photo: IDF

The State of Israel and IDF marked Sunday, January 8, as the fourth anniversary of the passing of the IDF's 12th Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Levy. Known as "Moshe and a Half" because he was so tall, the commander passed away in 2008 at the age of 71.

Born in 1936, Levy served as Israel's highest military commander from 1983 to 1987, and was its first Chief of Staff of Mizrachi origin, born in Tel Aviv to an Iraqi Jewish family.

Levy was drafted into the army in 1954 and served in the Golani infantry brigade. After completing an officer's course, he joined the paratroops and took part in the Mitla Pass parachute drop in 1956. 

He succeeded Rafael Eitan as Chief of Staff in 1983, and in that role presided over the IDF withdrawal from Lebanon two years later, tasked also with the subsequent creation of the security zone in southern Lebanon. Levy founded the IDF Ground Forces branch, as well as two new brigades -- the Nahal and Givati Brigades.

Upon his retirement, "Moshe v'hetzi" ("v'hetzi" in Hebrew means "and a half") returned home to northern Israel, to Kibbutz Beit Alfa.On the first of January 2008, he suffered a massive stroke -- his second -- and was rushed to HaEmek Medical Center in Afula.

He died eight days later of a brain aneurysm. Twice married, he is survived by five children and five grandchildren. 



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