Emanuel Sakel

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Emanuel Sakel
Born 10 August 1940
Beit Yosef, Land of Israel
Allegiance Israel Defense Forces
Years of service 1958–1994
Rank Aluf
Commands held Commander of the 52 Battalion, Commander of the 252 Sinai Brigade, Commander GOC Army Headquarters
Battles/wars Six-Day War
War of Attrition
Yom Kippur War
1982 Lebanon War
First Intifada
Awards Medal of Courage
Other work Director of the Trans-Israel pipeline

Emanuel Sakel (Hebrew: עמנואל סקל‎; born 1940) is a retired Israeli general who held several prominent posts including command of the 252 Sinai Brigade, and the IDF GOC Army Headquarters. For his actions in the Yom Kippur War he received the Medal of Courage. After his military career, he became the CEO of the Trans-Israel pipeline.


Sakel was born in Beit Yosef in 1940. In 1958, he enlisted in the IDF and joined the Golani Brigade in which he served until the end of his service in 1961 at the rank of Second Lieutenant. Sakel studied Geology in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and finished his studies in 1967. In 2010, he received his doctorate in political science from Bar-Ilan University.

In the Six-Day War, he was called in from reserves and he fought as the Commander of Sayeret's 4th Brigade. In 1968, he returned to the military and received the rank of Captain. He joined the Armored Corps and served in the 7th Armored Brigade as commander of Unit 82. In 1972 Sakel became the Commander of the 52 Battalion. In 1973, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, Sakel and his battalion were stationed near the Bar Lev Line near Ras Sudar.

With the war's outbreak, Sakel's forces joined the 401st Brigade in fighting the invading Egyptian army. In the fighting Sakel's forces suffered heavy losses and his forces defended the Southern part of the Great Bitter Lake. Sakel's forces destroyed an entire Egyptian battalion, and during the course of the war Sakel's forces helped out an ambushed Israeli battalion in Mitla Pass. For his actions in the war, Sakel earned the Medal of Courage.[1][2]

Later in his military career, Sakel commanded the 401st Brigade, and the 252 Sinai Brigade (a position he held during the 1982 Lebanon War). In the late 1980s, Sakel resigned from the IDF. In 1990, under the request of then Chief of General Staff, Ehud Barak, Sakel returned to the IDF and held the position of Commander GOC Army Headquarters until his resignation in 1994.[3]

In 1995, Sakel became the CEO of Trans-Israel pipeline, a position he held until 2005. Sakel resides in Rehovot and is married to Edna. He is the father of three children, his eldest son, Yoav, served in the Sayeret of the Golani Brigade and was killed in 1986 during an operation in Southern Lebanon.