5 Military Memorial Sites Across Israel

June 24th 2019

For a relatively young country, the State of Israel has seen its fair share of conflict. It is therefore not surprising there are numerous military memorial sites across the nation. From the fight for independence in 1948 to the modern era of terrorism, there are many poignant yet proud memorials to Israel’s war dead.

When touring Israel, it’s worth stopping off at a nearby memorial. Such sites provide a fascinating insight into the sacrifices so many gave to the safety and security of the Jewish State.

Israeli military memorial sites we recommend visiting include:

Mount Herzl National Military Cemetery

On the western outskirts of Jerusalem, just next to Yad Vashem, is Israel’s national cemetery. Mount Herzl is split into distinct sections including a civil cemetery, where many of Israel’s leaders are buried, plus a military cemetery, where fallen Israeli soldiers are buried.

The gravestones within the National Military Cemetery are simple in design and feature only the name, rank and places and dates of birth and death. Another thing you’ll notice is that the war dead are buried side by side, irrespective of rank or unit.

Armored Corps Memorial Site at Yad L’Shiryon

If you have a particular interest in tanks and military vehicles, then the Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun is a place to visit. Also known as Yad La-Shiryon, the site features a memorial as well for the nearly 5,000 fallen soldiers from Israel’s Armored Corps.

Photographs of the fallen heroes are continuously projected onto the Gate of Courage. A daily service of remembrance is also held for those who died on that particular date in the Hebrew calendar. The memorial also features the biographical details of each of the fallen soldiers.

Ammunition Hill – 1967 War

One of the bloodiest battles of the Six Day War took place on Ammunition Hill. Israel knew that capturing the strategic hill would give access to the occupied Old City. Israeli soldiers took the hill in just four hours of fighting but it came at the cost of 36 IDF lives. Jerusalem was reunified soon after the battle.

Today the site is a poignant reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought and died in the Battle of Ammunition Hill. The memorial commemorates the 182 Israeli soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem and still features the network of bunkers in which the soldiers fought.

Metzudat Koach

In the far north of the country, in the northern Galilee, is an often missed memorial to 28 brave slain soldiers. Metzudat Koach commemorates the Palmach fighters who died retaking a strategic fortress from Arab forces during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Their valor saved hundreds of civilian lives in nearby Jewish communities.

The site features a plaque with the names of the fallen as well as 28 trees planted in their memory. Nearby is a panoramic observation point from which you can see across the beautiful Hula Valley and towards the Golan Heights.

Second Lebanon War Memorial near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi

A few miles north of Metzudat Koach is another memorial (near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi) which commemorates two separate events in the area. In 1920, Zionist leader Joseph Trumpeldor and a tiny group of brave fighters defended with their lives Kibbutz Tel Chai from hundreds of Arab pillagers. A roaring lion statue stands where he is buried. A museum on the site tells the story of the battle.

Eighty-six years later, 12 Israeli paratroopers were killed at the entrance to the cemetery where Trumpeldor is buried. They were waiting to join the battle area during the Second Lebanon War when a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket scored a direct hit. A monument stands in the exact place where they died.