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Battle of Ammunition Hill

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Battle of the Ammunition Hill
Part of Six Day War
Tahmoshet
A trench on the Ammunition Hill, with the police academy seen in the background, Jerusalem, 1967.
Date June 6, 1967
Location 31°47′58″N 35°13′41″E / 31.79944°N 35.22806°E / 31.79944; 35.22806 (Ammunition Hill)Coordinates: 31°47′58″N 35°13′41″E / 31.79944°N 35.22806°E / 31.79944; 35.22806 (Ammunition Hill)
Ammunition Hill, North-East Jerusalem
Result Israeli victory
Belligerents
Israel Israel Template:Flag
Commanders
Israel Mordechai Gur
Israel Shlomo Yossi Yafe
Israel Uzi Narkis
Jordan Hussein bin Talal
Strength
Reinforced company About 150 soldiers
Casualties and losses
37 killed 71 killed

Ammunition Hill (Hebrew: גבעת התחמושת‎, Giv'at HaTahmoshet) was a military post in Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem, and the site of one of the fiercest battles of the Six Day War. [1]

Historical background

File:Visitors Ammunition 1.jpg

Ammunition Hill was located across from a police academy, with a fortified trench connecting them. The site was built by the British during their Mandatory government of Palestine in the 1930s, and was used to store the police academy's ammunition.

Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the post remained under control of the Jordanian Arab Legion, severing the link between Mount Scopus and West Jerusalem. In the wake of the Jordan-Israel Armistice Agreement, parts of Mount Scopus remained an Israeli enclave[2] in Jordanian-held territory, with the Jordanians blocking access to Hadassah Hospital and the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the hilltop.[2]

The post consisted of tens of bunkers built along the three main trench systems surrounding the hill, with fortified gun emplacements covering each trench. The living quarters for the Jordanian defenders of the hill were in a large underground bunker now housing a museum. When the Six Day War broke out, the post was defended by a reinforced Jordanian company of 150 soldiers, of the El-Hussein regiment (number 2).

The battle

A decision was taken by the Israeli Jerusalem Command, under General Uzi Narkis to forego an aerial attack on the hill due to its proximity to civilian areas. Instead an artillery barrage was to be focused on the police post, followed by a ground attack using an enlarged Paratroop company. The size of the Israeli assault force was based on incorrect intelligence which detailed the hill as being defended by a single platoon. When the ground assault began, the Police post was discovered to be empty of Jordanian troops, as they had taken shelter from the barrage in the bunker system of the hill, thereby enlarging the force defending the hill to one equal in size to the assault force rather than 1/3 of its size as had been anticipated by Israeli Central Command.

The fighting at the police academy site and Ammunition Hill began on June 6, 1967, at 2:30 AM. The task of capturing the hill was given to the Israeli 3rd company of the 66th Battalion, of the Paratroopers Brigade's reserve force (55th Brigade), and during the battle, a force of the 2nd company joined the fighting. The battle ended at 7 AM. 37 Israeli soldiers were killed in the battle for Ammunition Hill.[1] 71 Jordanian soldiers were killed.

Ten of the soldiers who fought in this battle were given citations by the Israeli chief of general staff. The commander of the Paratroopers Brigade was Mordechai Gur. The commander of the 66th Battalion was Yossi Yafe.

Memorial site

Ammunition Hill
In 1975, a memorial site was inaugurated in which a part of the old post was preserved and a museum was built. One wall in the museum lists the names of the 182 Israeli soldiers killed in the battles for the capture of Jerusalem. In 1987, the site was declared a national memorial site. The main ceremony on Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is held there.

References

External links

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