MOFAZ, SHAUL (1948– ), 16th chief of staff of the IDF (1998–2002). Mofaz was born in Iran and immigrated to Israel in 1957. In 1966 he joined the paratroops and in the Six-Day War fought under the command of Rafael *Eitan. During the Yom Kippur War he was the commander of the paratroop commando unit, and subsequently deputy commander of the special General Staff commando unit. In this post he participated in the Entebbe operation. Afterwards he took a break to study business administration at Bar-Ilan University for two years. In the Lebanon War he commanded a brigade and after the war went to study at the Command and Staff College of the U.S. Marine Corps in the U.S. On his return he was named head of the Officers' School and, in 1986, commander of the paratroop brigade. Afterwards he received a tank division and in 1993 was promoted to brigadier general and given command of Israeli forces in Judea and Samaria. A year later, in 1994, he became GOC Southern Command and in 1996 he was made chief of the IDF planning branch. In 1997 he became deputy chief of staff and in 1998 he was chosen as chief of staff, a position he held until 2002. Under his command, the IDF withdrew from Lebanon and the second Intifada commenced. After his retirement he was chosen by Prime Minister Sharon as defense minister, a position he continued to hold after the 2003 elections. At the end of 2005 he left the Likud for Sharon's new Kadimah Party, and after the 2006 elections he became minister of transport in Ehud *Olmert's government.
[Shaked Gilboa (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.