Gal-Ed - Mass grave of the quarters defenders in 1948

A monument

in memory of the 48 fallen defenders of the Old City

General info

Gal-Ed – Mass grave of the quarters defenders in 1948

In the days of the establishment of the State, there was one significant difficulty in addition to the many months of fighting in the Jewish Quarter, a continuous and tight siege that prevented the entry and removal of basic things such as food, medicine, ammunition and more.

Another significant thing weighed heavily on the Jewish quarter, according to Jewish law, that the dead should not be buried within the city limits, especially in Jerusalem, the holy city. However, when the continuous battles began in the quarter, there was no possibility of removing the fallen from the basement of Misgav Ladakh Hospital outside the city limits.

History

The War of Independence was the longest of Israel’s wars and the bloodiest of all. A year and a half of fighting against gangs and against the organized armies of the Arab states. The siege of Jerusalem, especially after the establishment of the State of Israel on May 5, 1948, was extremely close, and both civilian and fallen defenders could not be brought to the tomb of Israel outside the walls. The local rabbis had to decide to bury them in the courtyards of the houses and that’s what they did.

After a few more days passed, and a number of casualties were added, it was decided to request a special permit for temporary burial in the Quarter. The authority was given by Rabbi Yitzchak Avigdor Orenstein, who was the rabbi of the Western Wall at the time. Unfortunately, Rabbi Bornstein and his wife were killed just before the surrender of the Quarter, and they too were buried in the place that the rabbi had approved for burial. The place chosen was in a small courtyard near the quarter’s headquarters. A few volunteers from the neighborhood dug a hole, and then the funerals began.

The burial was very hasty due to the danger posed due people who being exposed to enemy fire. Most of the victims were buried without names to assist in future identification. One of the most famous fallen buried in the area would later be recognized as the youngest fallen IDF soldier, the child Nissim Gini.

The children of the Jewish Quarter were fully involved in protecting the Quarter, each according to their age and ability to pass orders and ammunition. Just before the cease-fire Nissim Gini was killed and killed on the spot.

The Jordanians refused all attempts by the Israeli government to transfer the dead for burial on the Mount of Olives. Only after the six day war, when Jerusalem was liberated, the tomb was revealed and in a state / military ceremony they were brought to rest in the heights of the Mount of Olives in a large mass grave, from there you can look out over the quarter where these heroes fought and fell.

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