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Israeli Arts, Culture & Literature: "Givat Hatachmoshet" Song

by Yair Rosenblum & Yoram Tehar-Lev

The following song was written by Yoram Tehar-Lev soon after the Six-Day War in 1967. The songs is written from the perspective of a soldier fighting in the famous battle at Jerusalem's Givat Hatachmoshet, Ammunition Hill. The battle was one of the bloodiest of the war but conquering the hill was crucial for Israel to retake the eastern part of Jerusalem.

It was the second morning of the war in Jerusalem. The darkness faded out in the east. We were deep in the battle over Givat Hatachmoshet. It was a fierce battle. The Jordanians were hard to crack.

It was a well fortified bunker, in some stages of the battle I had only four soldiers with me. We came up there with two companies.

I never knew where the others were because the radio was with Dudik, the commander was cut off from the beginning of the battle, at that moment I was sure that everyone was killed.

It was 2:30 at night
when we came through the rocks
to the fields of fire and mines
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

In front of fortified bunkers
machine guns and cannons
100 and few guys in front
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

The pillar of dawn didn’t rise yet
When all the company was already covered with blood
But we were there
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Because of the fences and mines
we left the medics behind
and we ran with no senses
to Givat Hatachmoshet.

We came down to the tunnels
to the holes to the cracks
and to the death in the trenches
of Givat Hatachmoshet.

There were no questions
those who went first, just fell
you really needed a lot of luck
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Those who fell were dragged to the back
so they wouldn’t disturb the others passing
until the next one fell
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Maybe we were lions
but if you wanted to live
you should not have been
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

We decided to blow up their bunker with the bazooka it made a few scratches on the concrete. We then decided to blow it up with explosives. The guy at the back would throw me the packs and I would put them at the entrance to their bunker. They had a system, first they would throw a grenade, then they shot a few shots and then they would rest, so between the grenades and the shots I ran and put explosives down. I had only four meters to move because there were Jordanians all over the place. I do not know why I got the medal of honor, all I wanted was to go home quietly.

Smoke covered the hill
the sun was rising in the east
we were only seven, going back to the city
from Givat Hatachmoshet.

And this is the story
the story of trenches and bunkers
the story of our brothers the men
who remained twenty years old
on Givat Hatachmoshet.

Sources: Gems in Israel