The Fighters’ Forest

Golan

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                    Arrival: On Road 91, drive about 2 kilometers north of Hashiryon Junction, and then turn east to the Fighters’ Forest at the foot of Tel Shifon.

                    *Throughout the Golan, there are many IDF historical sites that include memorials, trenches, and bunkers. These are all silent witnesses to the terrible battles that took place in the Golan, in which IDF soldiers defended the State of Israel at the risk of their lives. For a map of memorials in the Golan, press here.

                     

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                    General Background: The 679th Brigade was a reserve IDF armored unit with tanks of the “Shot” model. Later, its number was changed to 434, and the tanks were upgraded to the Merkava model.

                    The brigade played a key role in the holding back of Syrian forces, and the subsequent destruction of enemy forces.

                    You are welcome to sit on one of the benches and listen to the story of the battles that raged here, by pressing the button on the voice machine. Next to the memorial, the Keren Kayemet of Israel planted a forest in memory of the fallen soldiers from this battalion.

                    About the memorial: The monument was established in memory of the brigade’s 74 soldiers who fell in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Along with them, those soldiers from the unit who later fell in the Second War in Lebanon, and other combat missions (as well as in training), are also memorialized here. In the Yom Kippur War, the brigade was among those units who prevented the Syrians from penetrating deep into Israel, and during the counter-attack into Syria, the brigade successfully advanced and captured strategic areas.

                    The memorial is located on one of the hills where the brigade fought, under the command of Ori Orr. The Syrian forces tried to get to the Bnot Yaakov Bridge, and from there – deep into Israel. The brigade helped prevent this.

                    The heart of the memorial is a turret from a Syrian tank placed on basalt rocks. Two canon barrels attached to protective plates of a “Shot” tank, are connected to the tank’s turret, and aimed towards the sky; this is supposed to depict the wings of a bird. Also on the basalt rocks are metal plates with the engraved names of the fallen soldiers. The unit insignia is also displayed, and next to it is a quote in Hebrew which means: “Youth and courage – like steel – have left their painful mark in the stone.” On the turret are the words “We will remember and not forget.” On basalt plates nearby, one can see a graphic display of the brigade’s role in combat.

                     

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