Metzudat Koach

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Coordinates: 33°06′53″N 35°33′22″E / 33.11472°N 35.55611°E / 33.11472; 35.55611

Nabi Yusha police fortress. 1948
This article is about the British Mandate-time police fort. For the depopulated Arab village after which it was named, see Al-Nabi Yusha'.

The Nabi Yusha fort, renamed Metzudat Koach (Hebrew: מצודת כ"ח‎‎), is a police fort built by the British Mandate administration during the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine and currently used by the Israel Border Police.[1] The site around the fort contains a stone monument and a small museum, together constituting the Metzudat Koach Memorial, which commemorates 28 Israeli soldiers who died during the 1948 conquest of the strategically important fort. The fort and observation point is located in the Upper Galilee, close to an abandoned Shia shrine of Nabi Yusha ("Prophet Joshua").[2] The Hebrew word "ko'ach" (כח) has a double meaning: as a common noun it means "strength", while its numerical value according to gematria is 28, the number of the fallen soldiers.

The Metzudat Koach memorial is currently part of the Israel National Trail.[1]

History[edit]

The building is a Tegart fort[3] commissioned by the British and constructed by Solel Boneh, the fort was a key observation point on the Naftali heights, overlooking the Hula Valley, and used to monitor the Palestine/Lebanon border.[citation needed]

By mid-April 1948, the British army had evacuated most of Upper Galilee. A number of key points were subsequently occupied by Arab forces, including the police fort at Nabi Yusha. This fort commanded the main road to Upper Galilee and the routes to the Jewish settlements of Ramot Naftali and Manara. The Palmach understood that this observation point had a strategic importance for the safety and future of the kibbutzim below.

In the evening hours of April 15, the police station was attacked by a company composed of Golani, Palmach and irregulars from nearby Jewish settlements, which moved in two armored cars and two armored Egged buses. Strong fire was opened on the attacking force which was compelled to withdraw. 4 Jews were killed.

On April 20, a second attempt was made to occupy the fort by a force from the third Palmach battalion. A small force succeeded in breaking the barriers and reaching the wall but two of its members were hit, which delayed the detonation of the explosives until their evacuation. During their evacuation, enemy fire was directed at them and many of the unit soldiers were killed. The troops fought to their last man. Altogether, 22 Jews were killed in the battle.

During the night of May 16/17, a company of the third battalion of the Yiftach Brigade occupied the fort after driving away the enemy. On the next day, two of the soldiers were killed.

Yiftach Brigade at Nabi Yusha. 16th May 1948

In total, 28 Jewish soldiers fell in the battles for the occupation of the fort and "Metzudat HaKoach" ("Fort of the 28") is today named after them.[4]

The 28 soldiers[edit]

A monument to the fallen in Metzudat Koach
Date Name Age Rank Birthplace[5]
20/04/48 Ahali Joseph 20 Corporal Gedera
20/04/48 Akerman Amnon 19 Private Haifa
20/04/48 Amikam Boaz 19 Private, paramedic Haifa
20/04/48 Armoni Yizhar 18 Private Jerusalem
20/4/48 Barzilai Aryeh 19 Private Lithuania
17/05/48 Ben Bassat Meir 20 Private Bulgaria, Plovdiv
13/05/48 Ben Nevet Eliezer 21 Corporal Turkey
20/02/48 Cherkasky[6] David 22 Lieutenant, Platoon commander Haifa
20/04/48 Cohen Avraham 18 Private Jerusalem
20/04/48 Friedman Philon[7] 18 Private Poland
Futerman Eliezer 17
15/04/48 Gutman Joseph 20 Private Tel Aviv
20/04/48 Horowitz Zvi 19 Private Haifa
20/04/48 Kochba Hanan 19 Private Germany
22/04/48 Levinsky Yisrael 19 Private Poland
20/04/48 Mizrachi Shlomo 19 Private Jerusalem
20/04/48 Moskowitz Malachi 19 Private Tel Aviv
20/04/48 Neeman Moshe 19 Corporal Tel Aviv
Ohali Yosef
20/04/48 Poterman Eliezer 18 Corporal Poland, Nova Korsha
20/04/48 Rauch Mordechai 26 Private Poland
20/02/24 Shevet Eliezer 20 Private Nahalal
20/02/24 Shwartz David 26 Private Czechoslovakia
15/04/48 Stashi Moshe 18 Private Bulgaria, Sofia
20/04/48 Tolitzinsky Yuval 19 Private Haifa
20/04/48 Wissotzky Nehemia 20 Private Jerusalem
20/04/48 Yekutieli Amnon 19 Corporal, Squad commander Jerusalem
20/04/48 Yizraelowitz Yitczhak 25 Private Poland
view near Fort Koach down to the Hula valley

External links[edit]

References[edit]