Second Lebanon War Memorial near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi

November 25th 2013

Second Lebanon War Memorial near Kibbutz Kfar GiladiKibbutz Kfar Giladi is located along Israel’s border with Lebanon, above the Hula Valley. The story behind the Second Lebanon War Memorial located nearby is connected to the story of what happened there in 1920. The Battle of Tel Chai, considered the very first battle in the Arab-Israeli conflict, took place on March 1, 1920 in Kibbutz Kfar Giladi – some 28 years prior to Israel’s official founding. The symbolic and poignant casualties suffered that day resonate with the events of on August 6, 2006, when a rocket launched by Hezbollah terrorists hit 12 Israeli reserve soldiers who were preparing for battle.

At the center of the Tel Chai battle’s story is Zionist leader Joseph Trumpeldor and his tiny, brave group of fighters who defended the kibbutz against hundreds of Syrian pillagers. A statue of a roaring lion stands over the grave of Joseph Trumpeldor whose notable last words were, allegedly, “It is good to die for one’s country.” At the Tel Chai Court museum, visitors can learn about the details of that battle and the pioneering immigrants who came to the settlement of Tel Chai to establish a homeland for the Jewish people in pre-State Palestine.

Eighty-six years later, during the Second Lebanon War, 12 Israeli Defense Force reservists, all paratroopers who had been called up just four days earlier, were standing together near the entrance to the cemetery where Trumpeldor is buried. They were killed by a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket shot from Southern Lebanon. The soldiers had gathered here in anticipation of entering the operation in Lebanon. Their deaths are considered among the most heartwrenching events of the Second Lebanon War. Today, a simple monument consisting of three stone pillars stands at the spot where the Katushya landed. A full description of the tragic deaths of the 12 IDF reservists is engraved in English on the far left pillar. The site is wheelchair accessible.

In addition to the Second Lebanon War Memorial and the Tel Chai Court, Kibbutz Kfar Giladi offers an Israeli style guest house known as the Kfar Giladi Hotel. The hotel’s 168 rooms are surrounded by lush green lawns, flowering gardens, crisp mountain air and spectacular views. Among the guest house’s amenities are free Wi-Fi access, an indoor pool, fitness rooms, a spa and a synagogue, as well as facilities for conferences and banquets. The Kfar Giladi Hotel is a great spot from which to tour all the attractions of the Upper Galilee, including the Hoshomer House, the Hula Lake Park, the Hermon Resort, the Israeli Photography Museum and the Manara Cliff Cable Car.