January 2nd 2015
Ammunition Hill, called Givat HaTachmoshet in Hebrew, is located between two modern neighborhoods on the eastern side of Jerusalem. The site of fierce fighting during the 1967 Six Day War’s campaign to reunify Jerusalem, today Ammunition Hill serves as a memorial for all 181 Israeli soldiers who were killed during that conflict.
Ammunition Hill itself was the site of one of the bloodiest battles fought during the Six Day War. In June, 1967, despite the State of Israel being in Jewish hands since 1948, the city of Jerusalem was still divided. The eastern side of Jerusalem was in Jordanian hands until Israel’s miraculous victory in 1967. Thirty-six Israeli paratroopers were killed in the historic, trench-based battle that made the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem possible.
Originally a Jordanian military post, today there are several distinct sections of the Ammunition Hill complex. Do not miss the stirring documentary film about the Battle of Ammunition Hill. The film is screened in a room with a 3D model of Jerusalem in the center of amphitheater-style seating. Lights and colors reflected on the 3D model make it possible for viewers to visualize the battle as it is described on the screen. You’ll simultaneously watch the movie and look down at the model to see swaths of land change hands, as Israeli forces conquer larger and larger parts of greater Jerusalem.
A second highlight is the walk through the Jordanian-built trenches, bunkers and other fortifications where the actual battle was fought. As you walk along the trenches where brave Israeli paratroopers risked their lives to fight against the Jordanian legionnaires, your tour guide’s descriptions will make the battle come alive. At the far end of the trenches is a plaque that honors the memory of the Jordanian troops that were killed in the Battle of Ammunition Hill. Children can climb on the numerous tanks that decorate this historic battlefield.
For tourists who are particularly interested in military history, there are multiple exhibit halls that display maps, battle plans and weapons. Be sure to stop at the memorial to the Israeli soldiers who died during the battles to reunify Jerusalem. Since Ammunition Hill is also used today as an induction center where new Israeli Defense Force paratroopers can be inspired by the story of what happened on this very battlefield, it’s common to see Israeli soldiers also touring the site while visiting.