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November 3, 1927|
Tel Aviv, Israel
|Died||June 10, 1982
|Service/branch||Haganah, Israel Defense Forces|
|Years of service||1942–1982|
|Commands held||Golani Brigade, Israeli Southern Command|
|Battles/wars||1948 Arab–Israeli War, Six-Day War, 1982 Lebanon War, Operation Entebbe (commander, not on the ground)|
|Relations||Major General Udi Adam (son)|
|Other work||Appointed head of the Mossad but died before taking office|
He was born in Tel Aviv, Israel to Yehuda and Elisheva Adam (formerly Adamov). He was named after his grandfather, who was killed in combat in 1919. His family were Mountain Jews from the Caucasus region.
At the age of 15, Yekutiel joined the Haganah. At 20, he became a commander.
On May 1, 1948, he was one of the commanders who captured the Palestinian village Salame, to the south of Tel Aviv. He later joined an elite Haganah unit that conducted raids into enemy territory.
In March, 1950, Adam married and built a house in Tel Aviv. At that time, he became an officer in the IDF, with the rank of lieutenant. Adam rose quickly through the ranks. In 1952, he became a captain in the Givati Brigade. Then he went on to command the Be'er Sheva bloc as a lieutenant colonel.
He went on to study in the war academy in France in 1964-66 and returned to assume the rank of colonel. In the Six-Day War, he served under Ariel Sharon, proving his worth. Following the war, he became commander of the Golani Brigade. The Golani Brigade was responsible for keeping the peace in the north during the War of Attrition. During this time, Adam was promoted to brigadier general and served as the vice commander of the IDF's Northern Command until the end of the Yom Kippur War.
In 1974, Adam was moved to the Sinai where he became a major general and eventually went on to head the Southern Command.
He was the commander of the Operation Entebbe, the 1976 raid at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
In 1982, Adam went to the USA again to study, this time in Berkeley, but came back to Israel after Prime Minister Menachem Begin announced Adam's appointment to as head of the Mossad, in replacement of Yitzhak Hofi. He was killed in the 1982 Lebanon War before he could take up his post.
On June, 10, the fourth day of the war, Adam and a group of Israeli officers were commanding operations from an appropriated villa in Dawha near the town of Damour some 12 kilometers south of Beirut. When the area was shelled by Palestinian mortars, Adam and two other officers descended to the basement to take cover. A Palestinian fighter, who was hiding there, opened fire killing Adam and fatally wounding Col. Chaim Sela. Yekutiel Adam was deputy Chief of Staff and thus the highest ranking IDF officer ever to be killed in battle. The identity of Adam's killer was never clarified. Some sources identify him as a Palestinian minor. An IDF medic who served in an Israeli military prison during the war witnessed a group of bound and blindfolded Arab prisoners being mistreated by Israeli soldiers during a transport. An officer pointed to a 15-year-old boy among the prisoners and said: "You see this boy? He murdered the late Yekutiel Adam". The boy's final fate is unknown.
Yekutiel Adam was buried in Kiryat Shaul cemetery, Tel Aviv. A street was named after him in Ashkelon, and a main road in North Jerusalem. The Israeli Institute of Technology has named the Adam Yekutiel soil-machine laboratory after him.
- Biography at the Israeli government's official memorial website (Hebrew)
- "How Israeli general was killed". New Strait Times. Jun 14, 1982. Retrieved Sep 18, 2012.
- Coby Ben-Simhon (Mar 6, 2009). "Speak, memory". Haaretz. Retrieved Sep 18, 2012.
- Meir Kahane, Uncomfortable questions for comfortable Jews, 1987, p. 99
- Amia Lieblich, Transition to Adulthood During Military Service: The Israeli Case, 1989, State University of New York, p. 35
- "Agricultural engineering facilities". Technion.ac.il. Retrieved 2011-07-13.
- Victor Ostrovsky, "The Other Side of Deception", Chapter 8, page 55-56