Head of the IDF Civil Administration, Brigadier-General Munir Amar, was killed Friday when his light plane crashed into a mountain in the Upper Galilee, in northern Israel.
His death was pronounced shortly after his body was recovered from the scene of the crash. Amar flew the plane solo, and his identity was not initially confirmed in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
Searches for the 47-year-old officer began when the Israel Airport Authority reported that it had lost contact with him. A search for him was conducted on foot, with assistance from an IDF helicopter.
A resident of Julis — a Druze village in northern Israel — Amar began his military service in the Herev infantry battalion, comprised of Druze soldiers. Due to the fact that many of Herev’s soldiers are related, the battalion is known for the fierce loyalty and solidarity of its soldiers. Amar later went on to command the battalion.
Later in his service, Amar was appointed head of the Home Front Command for the Haifa area, and then commander of the Hermon Brigade, which is based along Israel’s northern border.
Last month, Amar took up his post at the Civil Administration.
He had a BA degree in Land of Israel Studies and an MA degree in political science, both from Haifa University.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon mourned Amar’s death on Friday afternoon, calling the top officer “the salt of the earth, a fine infantryman and commander with an impressive record of service.”
Ya’alon said Amar “was a symbol of the alliance of life with the Druze community and an example to the youth of the community who enlist in the IDF. Munir’s death is first and foremost a tremendous loss for his family, his friends and the Druze community. It also a great loss for the IDF and for the State of Israel.”
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot eulogized Amar as “an outstanding officer, who successfully took on a series of central roles in the IDF and left his mark.” He also expressed his condolences to the Amar family.
Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories said he felt “shock and great grief” when he heard of Amar’s death.
“I had the privilege of knowing a man who was head and shoulders above the rest, of modesty and values, a man who lived for the love of humanity and the land,” said Mordechai, who worked closely with Amar.
Sheikh Maufak Taref, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, cited Amar as an example to the younger Druze generation.
Amar “served as a moral compass for the community in Israel and a symbol of the determination and excellence of the Druze community in Israel,” he said.
Munir Amar is survived by his wife and three children.