Ammunition Hill built by the British and seized by the Jordanian Arab Legion sin 1948, thus severing the link between the Israeli enclave on Mount Scopus (with Hadassah Hospital and the campus of the Hebrew University) and Jewish West Jerusalem.
The hill was surrounded by dozens of bunkers connected by trenches, with fortified gun emplacements covering each trench. During the Six-Day War, the post was defended by a reinforced Jordanian company of 150 soldiers.
The Israeli Jerusalem Commander General Uzi Narkis decided to forego an aerial attack on the hill that was situated in the midst of civilian residences, opting instead for an artillery barrage, followed by a ground attack by an enhanced paratrooper company. That was a costly mistake, based on bad intelligence that said the hill was defended by a single platoon.
The fighting began on June 6, 1967, at 2:30 AM and lasted until 6:30 AM. Thirty-six Israeli soldiers and 71 Jordanians were killed in the fighting. These deaths on both sides could have been avoided had General Narkis sent in an overwhelming force. Instead, the invading force was equal in size to the defenders.
The Israelis and the Jordanians fought bravely, but they didn’t really need to.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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