Yitzhak Hofi

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Yitzhak Hofi
Born25 January 1927
Died15 September 2014(2014-09-15) (aged 87)
OccupationDirector of Mossad
Espionage activity
AllegianceState of Israel
Service branchHaganah, Palmach, Israel Defense Forces, Mossad
Service years1944–1948 (Haganah and Palmach)
1948–1974 (IDF)
1974–1982 (Mossad)

Yitzhak Hofi (Hebrew: יצחק חופי‎; 25 January 1927 – 15 September 2014) was a member of the Palmach, IDF General, chief of the Northern Command (Israel), and director of the Mossad.[1]


Hofi was born in Tel Aviv. He joined the Haganah in 1944 and commanded a company in the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. He continued to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces in a variety of command, staff and training posts. He headed the Northern Command of the IDF during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. He was Acting Chief of Staff for a brief period in 1974, before retiring from the military and taking the post of director of Mossad. Before that he was a general in the Israeli Defense Forces in charge of the Northern Command.[2]

In July 1976, Hofi lobbied strongly for a rescue mission to be mounted to save the large number of Israeli passengers on a hijacked Air France airliner flown to Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. In order to facilitate the resulting Operation Entebbe, Hofi directed Mossad katsas to survey the airport, and used contacts in Kenyan intelligence to allow the refueling of Israeli planes in Nairobi on the return journey.[citation needed]

During his tenure as Director of the Mossad, Israel carried out Operation Opera, a surprise Israeli attack on Iraq's nuclear reactor in Osirak.[3] In addition, the Mossad under his command assassinated a number of Palestinian terrorists, including Ali Hassan Salameh, chief of operations for the Black September Organization.[4]

After retiring from the Mossad in 1982, Hofi served as director of the Israel Electric Corporation until 1990.[5]

He died on 15 September 2014.[5][3]


  1. ^ Makovsky, David; Olivia, Holt-Ivry (23 May 2012). "Command and Control". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 31 October 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
  2. ^ Rabinovich, Abraham (24 September 2014). "Major General Yitzhak Hofi: Soldier whose gloomy assessments helped win the Yom Kippur War and who went on to serve as head of Mossad". The Independent. Archived from the original on 4 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b Morello, Carol (September 17, 2014). "Yitzhak Hofi, Israeli spy chief who helped in episodes of war and peace, dies at 87". The Washington Post.
  4. ^ Carol, Morello (19 September 2014). "Yitzhak Hofi, 87; Israeli general had key role in Entebbe raid". The Boston Globe.
  5. ^ a b Lappin, Yaakov (September 15, 2014). "Former Mossad director Yitzhak Hofi dies at 87". The Jerusalem Post.

Further reading[edit]

  • Black, Ian. Morris, Benny. Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services. New York: Grove Press, 1991. ISBN 0-8021-1159-9, 322 p.
  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Israel. Foreign Intelligence and Security Services, 1979". Included in the volume "Documents from the US Espionage Den", Tehran, 1982.