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One kilometer south of Kibbutz Kabri there is an eloquent memorial. One of the saddest days of the War of Independence is immortalized here: On March 28th, 1948, the Yehi'am convoy was ambushed here, and 47 young Israelis, Hagana members belonging to the Carmeli Brigade, were killed.
Kibbutz Yehi'am was isolated in those days, cut off from the rest of the Jewish towns and villages by several hostile Arab villages. Supplies could only be brought to Yehi'am by armoured convoys. There were intelligence reports that the Arabs were planning an ambush and a massive attack on the convoy, but due to the severe condition of Yehi'am and the desperate need for supplies it was decided to send the convoy on that day after all.
As the armoured vehicles slowly made their way along the winding road from Nahariya to Yehi'am, they came across one barricade after another. They did not manage to break through the third barricade, and fire was opened at them from the Arab cemetery on a hill beside the road. The battle was long and bitter, and 47 were killed. Only one vehicle made it to Yehi'am in the end.
Today this segment of the road is not in use, and it seems that time has stood still since March 1948. The curve in the road; the cemetery on the hill; remains of broken, disfigured armoured cars by the wayside; and above all, the silence. Memorial plaques tell the story, including personal stories of survivors. A stone monument commemorates the names of the fallen. Birds are now chirping in the trees. There is a picnic site nearby, a respectful distance away.
For me, visiting this battle site was a powerful experience.
Updated Sep 30, 2009