Brig. Gen. Mounir Amar, the head of the Civil Administration, died when the light plane he was piloting crashed on Friday morning.
Amar's plane crashed into a cliff near the town of Rameh in the north of the country. His death was confirmed at the scene of the crash after rescue teams with the assistance of a helicopter had retrieved his body from the wreckage.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon described Amar as "the salt of the earth – an outstanding fighter and commander with an impressive service record who served long years in places where you take responsibility and deal with the challenges."
Amar, 47, from Julis in the Galilee, had been head of the Civil Administration for a little more than a month. He leaves behind him a wife and three children.
One of the four divisions comprising the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT,) the administration is the body responsible for the implementation of government policy in the occupied territories and coordination with ministries, the IDF and the security forces.
"I was impressed by [Amar's] personality, his knowledge of the material, his understanding of the area and his judgement," Ya'alon said in a statement following Amar's death.
"The job of head of the civil administration is highly complex, particularly in the current reality. In his short time in the office, Mounir did it in the best and most admirable way possible."
"We arrived at the bottom of the mountain in an intensive care ambulance," said Magen David Adom paramedic Adi Kahlani. "The plane was high up and very difficult to reach."
"An air force unit with a helicopter managed to reach the plane. They rescued the body of a man of about 50. He was not alive and we pronounced him dead on the spot."
Ya'alon described Amar as a "symbol of the living alliance with the Druze community and a perfect model for the youth of the community who join the IDF. "One of the chosen who pave the way for the youth of the community in all walks of life."