The Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, awarded an honorary rank of Brigadier General to Arlozor (Zorik) Lev, who died when his plane crashed at the Yom Kipur War 34 years ago.
Moran Levi | Nikolai Avrutov
On Oct. 9th, 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, a formation of three “Ait” (Skyhawk) jets went on a sortie to attack targets at the Fort-Said area, in Egypt. An anti-aircraft fire was shot at the jets. Zorik’s plane was hit, and he dived into the sea. His body was never recovered.
The awarding ceremony of the rank took place at the Chief of General Staff chambers, and was attended by IAF commander Maj. Gen. Shkedi, head of human resources Maj. Gen. Elazar Shtern, past and present senior staff of the air force, past and present commanders of the Ramat-David air base, and the family of Zorik Lev. The ranks were awarded to the widow, Tali Lev, and his brother Avi Lev.
“By awarding the rank so many years after his death, the Chief of General Staff expresses the great respect we all share towards this special person and a brave commander. At moments of crisis he put himself ahead of others, and that’s how he was killed”.
The decision to award the honorary rank was approved by the Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, and the Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi, following a recommendation made by the IAF commander Maj. Gen. Shkedi.
Zorik was in command of the Ramat-David air force base during the war, and was due for a promotion before he was killed.