Yitzchak Pundak, a 100-year-old former soldier who fought in the 1948 War of Independence, was promoted to the rank of major-general on Tuesday – 60 years after he was first promised the promotion.
Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon and Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz personally placed the new insignia on Pundak’s uniform at a special ceremony.
“Today you have healed the wound that I had for the past 60 years,” an emotional Pundak told them.
The head of the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, and the head of the Ground Forces Command, Maj. Gen. Guy Zur, were also present at the ceremony. Brig. Gen. Dan Nadiv, director-general of the IDF Veterans Association, Tzevet, and family and friends were also there.
Pundak was a commander on the southern front during the 1948 War of Independence. After the war, he was appointed commander of the Nahal Brigade. In 1953, he assumed command of Israel’s Armored Corps. In 1954, then-Chief of General Staff Moshe Dayan informed Pundak that he would be promoted to major-general. The promise was never kept due to then-Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon’s opposition.
Pundak later retired from the IDF, only to be called back in 1971 by Dayan, by then defense minister. Dayan appointed him governor of the Gaza Strip and promoted him to the rank of brigadier-general. But even in his second tour of duty his much-coveted rank eluded him.
Read more at Israel Hayom.