Yossi Ben Hanan

Aluf (res.) Yossi Ben Hanan (Hebrew: יוסי בן-חנן‎) was born in Jerusalem, Mandate for Palestine in 1945. His father, Michael Ben Hanan served as one of the top commanders, (Haganah) in Jerusalem.

Yossi Ben Hanan
General Yosi Ben Hanan 1994
General Yosi Ben Hanan 1994
Native name
יוסי בן-חנן
Born (1945-02-23) February 23, 1945 (age 76)
Jerusalem, Mandate for Palestine
AllegianceIsrael Israel
Years of service1963-1994
UnitArmored Corps
Commands held7th Brigade
Battles/warsSix-Day War, War of Attrition, Yom Kippur War
AwardsMedal of Courage

During the Six-Day War Ben Hanan was a young Israeli officer, a lieutenant, serving as the operations officer of the 7th Armored Brigade. He was featured on a famous cover of Life magazine after the war which showed him, as a young soldier, triumphantly clutching an AK-47 rifle while standing in the waters of the Suez Canal.[1]

In 1973, while on his honeymoon in Nepal, then lieutenant colonel Ben Hanan learned of the start of the Yom Kippur War. Over the course of a few days, he returned to Israel and arrived on the Golan Heights on about October 8, 1973.[2] Ben Hanan participated in fierce fighting with the Syrians in the holding defence of the Golan Heights along with then lieutenant colonel Avigdor Kahalani, and was wounded for the first time, but refused to be evacuated and continued fighting.[3]

On October 9, 1973, Ben Hanan took command of a scratch force of Israeli tanks that had been put together by Shmuel Askarov, one of the survivors of the decimated 188th Armored Brigade. Leading his command in a desperate battle against overwhelming numbers of Syrian T-62s, Ben Hanan restored the tactical situation but at the cost of most of his command and his own Centurion tank. Blown out of the turret when his tank was hit by a Sagger anti-tank missile, Ben Hanan lay wounded on the battlefield until he was rescued from behind enemy lines by Yonatan Netanyahu, a legendary member of the IDF's elite Sayeret Matkal and brother of future Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.[4]

Ben Hanan received the second highest decoration, the Medal of Courage for his part in the fierce battles of the Yom Kippur War.[citation needed]

Yossi Ben Hanan later served in the IDF.[clarification needed] He commanded the 7th Armored Brigade, the IDF R&D department, the Israeli National Security College, and the Armored Corps. As a reservist, he attained the rank of Major General (Aluf). In 2003, he was the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's developing countries defense assistance division, SIBAT.[5]


  1. ^ Blum, Howard (2003) "The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War" Perennial p. 11
  2. ^ Boyne, Walter J. The Yom Kippur War: And the Airlift Strike That Saved Israel (2003) (ISBN 978-0312320423)
  3. ^ Blum, Howard (2003) "The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War" Perennial pp.248,268-269
  4. ^ Chaim Herzog (1982) "The Arab-Israeli Wars" Vintage pp.296-297
  5. ^ Yossi Melman (19 August 2003), Enthusiasm to sell arms leads to dubious deals, Haaretz (Tel Aviv)