Narkiss, Uzi


Narkiss, Uzi
(1925-97)
   Hero of the Six-Day War (1967). Born in Jerusalem, he began his military career as a teenager in the Hagana, participating in the 1946 demolition of the bridges across the Jordan River that were used by Arab irregulars. Later, he was in brief command of the Etzion Bloc. In 1948, he became an operations officer and then a battalion commander under Yigal Allon in the south. He also was assigned to Yitzhak Sadeh. Narkiss was a deputy battalion commander in the Palmah brigade commanded by Yitzhak Rabin and was ordered in May 1948 to break through to the besieged Jewish quarter of Jerusalem. His men succeeded in blowing a hole in Zion Gate and linking up with the beleaguered defenders, but lacking reinforcements and ammunition, he ordered his troops to break out of Jerusalem's old city. The Jewish quarter soon fell.
   When the 1948 war ended, Narkiss was a battalion commander in the Negev division. He served in various command positions and established Israel's National Security College. In the Six-Day War, he headed the central command and directed the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem. As officer in command of the central command in 1967, he commanded the brigades that retook the old city during the
   Six-Day War. Narkiss reentered the walled city, together with Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Rabin. After retiring from the IDF in 1968, he worked for 25 years with the Jewish Agency, serving as director general of the information department and the immigration (see ALIYA) and absorption department. He also served as chairman of the Government Coins and Medals Corporation and devoted himself to maintaining the soldiers' memorial on Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. Narkiss died on 17 December 1997 in Jerusalem.

Historical Dictionary of Israel. .

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