Avigdor (Yanush) Ben-Gal laid to rest
Avigdor (Yanush) Ben-Gal laid to rest Photo: Yoni Kempinski

Maj. Gen. (res.) Avigdor (Yanush) Ben-Gal, former IDF Northern Commander, was laid to rest Sunday afternoon with full military honors at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul in Tel Aviv.

His older sister Ilana, who immigrated to Israel with him as part of the "Tehran Children" group of Polish Jewish children, eulogized Ben-Gal, saying, "Our lives were not easy, even after arriving in Israel. You found your place in the army."

"In recent years, when it seemed that we finally achieved peace and quiet, I became a widow and then you got sick so fast and left us. May your soul rest in peace," his sister added.

"As you were fighting your disease, so many people, including many that we did not know, supported and encouraged us in many ways. Many asked for his name to pray for him. Even if someone feared you, they loved you just as much," said Ben-Gal’s widow, Avital.

“Once we received the devastating news of his disease, we all wanted to give him everything we could. He wanted to end his life with dignity," she added.

Ben-Gal passed away Saturday at the age of 80 after battling a serious illness. He is survived by his wife and seven children.

Ben-Gal served as commander of the Seventh Armored Brigade during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, where he played a key role in blocking the advance of the Syrian army into Israel.

In August 1977 he was appointed IDF Northern Commander, a role he served in until 1981. Then in 1983, after being considered for IDF Chief of Staff but not getting the role, he retired from the IDF at the rank of major-general.