Syria's response was the shelling of the Israeli settlements of Upper Galilee from the Golan Heights as they had done for years. He lay himself across the wire and told his comrades to use his body as a bridge. The offensive was planned for 1130 hrs to give the IAF enough of time to continue its bombardment and to give the Israeli combat engineers time to create a path through enemy mine fields. That position in the northern Golan Heights overlooks the Hula Valley, and it was there that one of the Six-Day War’s toughest battles took place. But he was fully engaged and had no other choice than continue his assault. The back of Emir Faour Palace at the Ha'emir Junction in the Golan Heights, 2017. From old minefields to pools for Syrian officers, the vestiges of the former sovereigns of the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights are everywhere, if you know where to look. Mount Bental is one of Israel’s favorite mountain peaks to visit, partly due to the great panoramic views of the Golan and even Syria but also because Mount Bental was the site of a courageous battle fought during Israel’s war for the Golan. At the current pace and budget, it will take another century to remove them all. On the way to Qela he had destroyed several fortified Syrian positions. The UN controls a buffer zone between Syria and the Eastern (Israeli-occupied) part of the Golan Heights, and you might hear sporadic shelling in the area. We jumped out of the trench, ran five meters and then Musa fell on his face... killed by the Syrian soldier he'd missed. During the interview, Kipnis stressed a few times that examining the Syrian history of the Golan is not necessarily a political statement. When the other surviving forces of the battalion reached under Tel Faher, the operation officer commanded Company B to take Burg-Babil a Syrian platoon post between Tel Faher and Tel Azaziat. A few hundred meters from Tel Faher he came under heavy fire. A short drive up, the mountain-top provides both scenic beauty and a glimpse back at the past – with bunkers open to visitors. The enemy column advanced. The latter building was constructed by the Soviets in the 1960s as a hospital but was later turned into command headquarters. It feels like a quality place in the mountains of Europe. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the area was a war zone but today it’s partly demilitarized. Only the wounded Lt. Horovitz was still advancing. But a visit there reveals that contrary to what one might think, there is still a wealth of testimony to Syria’s past presence. He continued firing until his vehicle was hit again and exploded. Private Moshe Drimmer belonged to a group of nine combat soldiers who had to clear the path of mines for the tanks. Mount Bental is one of Israel’s favorite mountain peaks to visit, partly due to the great panoramic views of the Golan and even Syria but also because Mount Bental was the site of a courageous battle fought during Israel’s war for the Golan. A few months after the war, a census taken of the area Israel had occupied found only 6,396 residents in eight towns and villages, nearly all of them Druze. Tell people to come see for themselves.”,, the online edition of Haaretz Newspaper in Israel, and analysis from Israel and the Middle East, © Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. All Rights Reserved, The remnants of Emir Faour Palace at the Ha'emir Junction in the Golan Height, Get email notification for articles from Moshe Gilad. The IAF was dropping some 400 tons of ordnance on the Heights from Mount Hermon in the north to Tawfiq (near Hamat Gader) in the south, including some captured rockets from Egyptian stocks. He sent Natanel Horovitz to take the lead. (Kibbutz Kfar Haruv, Israel, View from Syrian Bunker) We then headed north toward the Battle of Tel Saki monument. The most famous is Ein Almin, near Route 888, south of the Customs House junction. The 1,600 residents of Hushniya, which was a Circassian village, fled their homes in 1967. "[7], Despite the few casualties, the kibbutzniks (kibbutz members) had been forced to live almost permanently in underground shelters. Within minutes, the Syrian guns opened fire, not against the advancing troops, but still to the Israeli settlements. Obviously they have historical value because they help explain the threat the Syrian army posed to the Jordan Valley. ", The Syrian commander of the northern part ordered his men not to fire until the Israelis reached the wire to catch them in a kill zone. It was the 1st Golani Brigade that captured the pivotal position at a cost in casualties. Dayan had changed his mind. He came to the Golan 12 years ago when regional council head Eli Malka was looking for businessmen to invest in the region. Tel Faher (or Golani Lookout) is a former Syrian outpost in the Golan Heights that has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.. Tel Faher was the site of an intense battle between the Israel Defense Forces and the Syrians which ended in the conquest of the outpost by the Golani Brigade. It was important, he said, to be familiar with the area’s past history, irrespective of one’s political opinions. Fifty years have passed since the Golan Heights was seized from the Syrians, and 36 years since it was annexed and made officially part of Israel. From a few hundred meters they came under heavy fire from Syrian tanks. Developer Leo Glazer is establishing a hotel in an ancient structure at the Upper Customs House junction. ", The battle continued for more than three hours. He says you can still find remnants of 220 small villages that either deteriorated naturally or were destroyed. He now is an independent tourism consultant. Only after the objective was achieved, he allowed himself to be evacuated to hospital. “We’ve learned to demand what’s coming to us in development budgets. In the building there’s a memorial plaque noting that Israeli spy Eli Cohen had visited there several times. The platoon commander sent Private Jalil 'Issa to the company commander to request permission to take cover, but 'Issa could not find him. At 1910 hrs on Thursday evening, Eshkol tried once more to overcome Dayan's objections. Through my Nikon lens I … One of the great pleasures of visiting the Golan is dipping one’s feet in what are known as the officers’ pools. It placed the Israelis directly in our crosshairs. The Israel-Syria front remained relatively quiet during the first four days of the Six-Day War, despite the fact that Syria's air force had been destroyed on the first day. Private David Shirazi was part of the assault team that had to climb up the 100m rigged slope under heavy Syrian mortar and machine gun fire to reach the barbed wire fence. In 1976, Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan said that Israel provoked more than 80% of the clashes with Syria.


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