JERUSALEM (AP) _ Maj. Gen. Uzi Narkiss, who led Israeli troops in the 1967 battle for Jerusalem's Old City, has died. He was 72.

The retired general passed away Wednesday night after a long illness, Israeli media reports said Thursday.

Narkiss was born in Israel in 1925 and joined the Palmach underground army in British-ruled Palestine in 1941, helping to smuggle Jewish refugees in across the northern border in 1944.

After the 1948 founding of the state, Narkiss remained in the Israeli military, which sent him to study in France in 1955. On his return, Narkiss served in several capacities and in 1962 established Israel's National Security College.

In 1965, Narkiss received the rank of major general and was put in charge of the army's central command. He commanded the troops that captured Jerusalem's Old City from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast War.

Narkiss left the army in 1968 and worked in senior posts at the Jewish Agency before his death.

He will be buried Friday in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.