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Ya'alon, Moshe


YA'ALON, MOSHE (1950– ), 17th chief of staff of the idf; known by the nickname Boogie. Ya'alon was born in Israel as Moshe Smolansky. He was a member of the No'ar ha-Oved ve-ha-Lomed youth movement and joined kibbutz Gerofit. During the Yom Kippur War he fought on the southern front as part of the paratroop reserves. After the war he rejoined the army and underwent officer training. From 1974 to 1978 he commanded a platoon and company in the Naḥal brigade. In 1978 he commanded the paratroop reconnaissance unit in the Litani operation in Lebanon. In 1986 he was promoted to colonel and given command of the elite General Headquarters reconnaissance unit, while in 1990 he was given command of the paratroop brigade. Subsequent command positions included Judea and Samaria, Army Intelligence, and the Central Command. In 2000 he became deputy chief of staff and in 2002 chief of staff, serving just three years, without the customary one-year extension, against the background of his opposition to Sharon's Gaza disengagement plan. During his service as chief of staff, the idf had to contend with the second Intifada and terrorist attacks on Israel's civilian population. During his long service he completed a B.A. in political science at Haifa University.

[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]

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