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Mount Bental, Golan Heights

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, an epic battle took place for the Golan Heights. On one side, the Syrian army, who had declared war on Israel for the third time, with 1,500 tanks and 1,000 artillery pieces; on the other, Israel’s 160 tanks. The small Israeli force somehow managed to destroy 900 Syrian tanks before the Syrian force retreated, leaving the land for Israel to claim. The Israelis suffered huge casualties during the battle, and only 7 Israeli tanks remained functional by the end. The battle was hugely important for Israel as the Golan Heights offer an incomparable strategical advantage in defending Israeli land. The valley in which the battle took place was renamed the Valley of Tears to commemorate the lost lives.

Today, Mount Bental has preserved the bunkers of the battle and there are sculptures depicting the scenes. You can walk through the bunkers and see the old beds and batteries, and a small room within the bunker has been decorated with images telling the story of the battle. Here you can learn about the battle and how Israel won despite overwhelming odds. The mountain also provides an impressive panoramic view of the Golan Heights and of Syria. Here you can also find a coffee shop called Coffee Anan (which in Hebrew happens to mean coffee of the clouds, as well as being a pun on the UN leader). 

The fields are now covered in crops, but there is a video binocular that can be operated which shows you the battlefield as it would have looked. The region has been relatively quiet since the Yom Kippur War, and although Syria is still technically at War with Israel, very little action has been taken or even spoken about. 

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Location: Marom Golan , Galilee & Golan
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Age: All ages
Seasons: Year-round
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