Yisrael Galili (Hebrew: ישראל גלילי), born Yisrael Balashnikov, and commonly known as Yisrael Galil, was an Israeli firearms designer who worked with Israel Military Industries. Known in Israel as the "Father of the Rifle", Galil is well known for the design of his eponymous rifle.
History[edit | edit source]
Born Yisrael Balashnikov in Russia in 1923, Galili immigrated to Mandatory Palestine at a young age. He joined the Haganah in 1940 and served through World War II; after the war, he settled in the newly-established state of Israel, changing his surname to Galili. He joined Israel Military Industries in 1948.
Galili would later participate in a series of trials to find a new service rifle for the Israelis. Competing against designs by Steyr, Beretta, Colt and even one by compatriot Uziel Gal, Galili's design faced stiff competition, but was eventually considered the best and selected for adoption as the Galil.
After designing the rifle, Galili received the Israel Defense Prize. He died in 1995, aged 71.