LASKOV, ḤAYYIM (1919–1982), Israel military commander. Born in Borisov, Belorussia, Laskov moved to Palestine in 1925. His father was killed by Arabs in 1930. In 1940 Laskov joined the Palestinian Jewish units in the British army, receiving a commission. In 1944 he was with the *Jewish Brigade Group in Italy and commanded a mechanized machine-gun platoon in the Senio sector. He joined the permanent staff of the *Haganah in 1947, dealing mainly with training matters. In 1948 he commanded the first mechanized battalion of the Israeli army in the battles of Latrun, Nazareth, and Galilee. During the *War of Independence (1948) he was promoted to aluf (brigadier general) and director of training. In 1951 he became commander of the Israel air force. Laskov went to study at Oxford in 1953 but was recalled in 1955 and appointed deputy chief of general staff and, in 1956, commanding officer of the armored corps. During the *Sinai Campaign he commanded a divisional task force on the northern axis. After the campaign he was appointed commanding officer of the southern command and, in 1958, fifth chief of general staff. In 1961 he retired from the army to become director general of the ports authority. He initiated large-scale reforms for increased efficiency in the major Israel ports, particularly Ashdod and Haifa. He resigned his post in 1970 and participated in various public bodies.
D. Lazar, Rashim be-Yisrael, 1 (1953), 170–5.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.