Rafael Eitan, better known simply as Raful, was the 11th Chief of Staff in the IDF, and an Israeli politician for nearly 20 years. Raful tragically died on November 23rd, 2004.
Raful illustrious military career began in the Palmah in 1946. He quickly became an officer and slowly climbed the ranks. All along his time in the army, Raful participated in countless heroic missions and he received quite a few well-deserved awards for his actions. He was injured several times. He was shot multiple times, the worst, and the most well-known of them was when he was shot in the head at the Battle of San Simon in Jerusalem, during the War of Independence.
In 1978, Raful was appointed Chief of Staff and served as the IDF Ramatkal during the First Lebanon War. He served as Chief of Staff for five years and three days and is the longest in IDF history to this day. The major events that took place under his command were the First Lebanon War, the return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt, the attack of the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and much more.
Right after his retirement from the IDF, Raful joined Israeli politics, where he served as a minister several times and as the Deputy Prime Minister after Rabin's death.
On November 23rd, 2004, Raful drove with his car to the Ashdod Harbour, as he did every morning for the past three years for his work in a contracting company. As he exited his car to assess the damages caused by the storm the night before, a big wave hit him and pushed him into the water, where he unfortunately drowned.
He was buried in Kibbutz Tel Adashim, where he was born.