The IDF's 15th Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, has died

As Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Lipkin-Shahak emphasized continuing to build military power, improving security measures, increasing motivation to serve in the reserves.

Date: 19/12/2012, 7:19 PM     Author: IDF Website

The IDF's 15th Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, died today (Wednesday) after a long battle with a serious illness.

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, the IDF's General Staff, the IDF's commanders, and IDF soldiers both in regular service and reserves salute the memory of Lt. Gen. (ret.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and send their condolences to his family. Lipkin-Shahak's funeral will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 3:00 p.m. at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv. The funeral will be held with full military honors. Lt. Gen. (ret.) Lipkin-Shahak's coffin will be carried by eight officers with the rank of Major General.

Lipkin-Shahak was born in 1944 in Tel Aviv. After finishing his studies at military boarding school in the year 1962, he enlisted in the Paratroopers Brigade. In 1965, he became a company commander in the newly established 202nd battalion of the Paratroopers brigade. As a company commander, Lipkin-Shahak participated in reprisal operations preceding the Six Day War. During the Six Day War, he served as acting deputy battalion commander. After the war, Lipkin-Shahak took command of the Duchifat unit of the Paratroopers brigade and participated in Operation Inferno, where he was awarded the Medal of Courage for his leadership and courage under fire.

After graduating from the Command and General Staff School in 1971, he was appointed battalion commander of the Nahal Airborne Battalion. Under his command, the battalion took part in many operations, mainly in the area of Lebanon. In April 1973, as a part of Operation Spring of Youth, he assaulted terrorist headquarters in Beirut, and was decorated with a second Medal of Courage for his leadership in action. During the Yom Kippur War, he served as deputy commander of the Paratroopers Brigade and fought in the battle for the Chinese Farm, contained Egyptian forces at Ismailia, and defended the Sinai desert. After the Yom Kippur War, he was assigned as the operations officer for Central Command, and was sent to the U.S. Marine's general staff command course in the United States.

In 1976, Lipkin-Shahak was promoted to Colonel and became head of the reservist Paratroopers Brigade. In 1977, he was appointed the head of the regular Paratroopers Brigade. During this period, the Brigade took part in several operations along all of Israel's borders, including extensive operations in Lebanon, taking part in Operation Litani across the border. After finishing his term as commander of the Paratroopers Brigade, he was appointed as a commander of a reservist armored division, and in 1982 became commander of the Steel Formation. While serving as the Division's commander, he served as the commander of the Beirut region of Lebanon after the First Lebanon War.

In 1983, Lipkin-Shahak was appointed as the Head of Central Command and was responsible for fighting terrorism in Judea and Samaria. From 1986 to 1991 he served as Head of Intelligence, and during those years worked at strengthening Israel's deterrence, fighting terrorism, and towards the end of his term, prepared the IDF during the developments that led to the Gulf War. In 1991, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, and during this role served as the commander of Operation Solomon, which brought 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

On January 1st, 1995, he was appointed to Chief of Staff of the IDF. During his term as Chief of Staff, he continued to build Israel's military power, improved systematic preparations for security measures during peacetime, placed an emphasis on cultivating soldiers as people, and worked to increase the motivation to serve both in regular service and in the reserves. He also focused on maintaining the separation of the military from politics and strengthening the relationship between the IDF and the people. He completed his service as Chief of Staff in 1998, and retired from the military after 36 years of service. He was a graduate of the National Security College and Tel Aviv University's graduate history department. He was married with five children.