CITYsights: Remembering the trenches

If Western Wall stands for exhilarating triumph of Six-Day War, Ammunition Hill is sobering symbol of the price of military victory.

By ITRAVELJERUSALEM TEAM
June 1, 2011 14:37
1 minute read.
Jerusalem residents

Jerusalem residents_521. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

On June 6, 1967, at 2:30 a.m., IDF paratroopers stormed Ammunition Hill, a Jordanian outpost strategically located between east and west Jerusalem, en route to the beleaguered Israeli enclave at Mount Scopus.

The soldiers encountered far stronger resistance than they had anticipated and a fierce, bloody battle broke out. Several hours later, as the sun rose over the Hill, the Israelis emerged victorious. But military triumph came at a bitter price: Thirty seven soldiers had been killed in and around Ammunition Hill in close combat among the Jordanian bunkers.

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If the Western Wall stands for the seemingly miraculous military victory, Ammunition Hill has become a sobering symbol of the price Israelis paid to reclaim the lost half of their capital and reunite Jerusalem.

As you’ll see in this week’s CITYsights video, Ammunition Hill is now a memorial dedicated to the 182 Israeli soldiers killed during the Six Day War battle for Jerusalem, among them the fallen at the site. This week, as in previous years, Ammunition Hill is also the setting of Israel’s annual Jerusalem Day ceremony.

Visitors to Ammunition Hill can browse through pictures of the fallen, see authentic artifacts from the battle, and crawl through the trenches and bunkers. An interactive sound and light show and a full-scale model of Jerusalem allow visitors to get a true sense of the reality on the ground during those fateful days in June, 1967.

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