Tzvika Kaplan Scenic Lookout Inaugurated on Mount Carmel.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
On July 20th, 2016, parents Tzilla and Yehuda, wife Adi, the two sons Elkana and Nadav, other family members and comrades in arms all gathered at the new scenic lookout established on Mount Carmel in memory of the late Captain Tzvika Kaplan. Precisely two years had passed since Tzvika fell in the Shujaiyya district of Gaza as he took part in Operation Protective Edge. His deputy battalion commander Major Tzafrir Ben Or was killed in the same incident.
Those present contemplated the magnificent view in amazement as they enjoyed the pleasant breeze that blew in from the sea and easily dispelled the summer heat. The new scenic lookout built by KKL-JNF in Tzvika’s honor looks westwards. Its paved viewing platform, which is accessed by a short downward flight of steps, offers a view of the expanses of Carmel Coast Forest
, and the gaps between the spurs of Mount Carmel
open a beautiful window upon the Dor and Nahsholim areas of the Carmel Coastal Plain. But this is not all. If we take a few steps back and look eastwards we can see Moshav Kerem Maharal below, and the heights of Mount Carmel.
Tzvika’s comrades in arms, who served together with him in the regular army in the Golani Reconnaissance Unit, and Yonatan Karnik in particular, were responsible for establishing the scenic lookout. Asher Tamano said: “For us Tzvika was like the pillar of fire that showed us the way and the direction we should take. He was very concerned with the inculcation of Jewish values and all of us, secularists included, listened to him attentively. Thanks to him, religious and secular soldiers got on well together. There’s one scene I particularly remember: Tzvika with a huge rucksack on his back striving to make contact with the enemy in a move that bespoke his leadership.”
Tzvika's father Yehuda Kaplan thanked Tzvika’s comrades in arms for their determination to establish the scenic lookout. Among others, he mentioned landscape architect Hanna Cohen for her help in planning the lookout. Hanna, who is married to a friend of Tzvika’s, lives in the Gilboa community of Merav, where Tzvika and Adi also made their home. Yehuda concluded his speech with warm words for KKL-JNF staff members Michael Ben Abu, Pnina Zeisler and Yuval Itah, who had responded immediately and graciously to all his requests.
Michael Ben Abu concluded the proceedings by saying: “Let us hope that the many visitors who come here will not only enjoy the wonderful view from this scenic lookout in Tzvika’s memory, but will also take away with them something of Tzvika’s purity and valor.”
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