1 Day – The Road to Independence

Ammunition Hill

In November 29, 1947, the U.N decided to end the British Mandate and to divide the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea into 2 different countries – the Arab State and the Jewish State, with Jerusalem and its environs, including Bethlehem, to become a neutral zone run by the U.N.

Even though they received only a small part of the Holy Land – without Jerusalem, the Jewish people in Israel embraced the resolution and after almost 2000 years the world recognized the right of the land of Israel.

The Arabs felt cheated. Many of them lived on the land for hundreds of years and they were the majority between the river and the sea and therefore started what Israel called the War of Independence while the Arabs called it the ’disaster’.



The Jewish-Arab conflict on this tiny piece of land between the Jordan River in the east and the Mediterranean in the west is about 100 years old and is paved with difficulties that have yet to be resolved. The following tour will visit landmarks, battle grounds and heritage sites that played a role in the establishment of the State of Israel.

Tour Itinerary

Eastbound Route:

  • Cross the Judean plains entering Route 1 the main road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
  • Stop at “BAB EL WAD” (“SHA’AR HAGAY” in Hebrew /”GATE OF THE VALLEY” in English), a crucial landmark in the history of modern Israel. It was at this location that the Arab uprising focused their ambushes on Israeli led convoys during the War of Independence, preventing supplies, including water, food and medicine from reaching Jerusalem, as well as sabotaging the water pumping station nearby.
  • Continue to CASTEL NATIONAL PARK, one of the key sites to ensuring that the road to Jerusalem would be left open for convoys and supplies.
  • The BURMA ROAD, was constructed by the IDF to bypass Arab armies that were besieging Jerusalem, and in particular, to bypass the forces of the Transjordan legion which held Latrun in 1948. Although the road was only used for 6 months, it definitely saved casualties and allowed the continuance of supplies to the beleaguered people of Jerusalem.
  • Drive to Jerusalem, starting at UN Headquarters which presents a commanding view of the entire southern half of the city and the Arab Village of Jabel Mukaber.
  • Drive along KAV HATEFER, the seam line that separated east from west Jerusalem and pass via Turgeman Post, which guarded Mandlebaum Pass, the only crossing between east and west Jerusalem from 1948 – 1967.
  • Visit AMMUNITION HILL (Giv’at HaTahmoshet), a military post in the northern part of Jordanian controlled East Jerusalem, and the site of one of the fiercest battles of the Six Day War.
  • Visit MT. HERZL and Herzl Museum.

Optional Sites

Sites on the same route and close in themes and therefore can be exchanged or added, depending on personal preferences and time constraints.

Yad La Shiriyon: the Armed Corps Tank Museum & Memorial in Latrun.
Nebi Samuel: a highly strategic location commanding one of the routes to Jerusalem and some of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods as well as traditional burial of the prophet Samuel.
Yad Mordechai: a kibbutz founded by young Polish immigrants who were members of the Zionist youth movement, and it was named in memory of Mordechai Anielewicz, the 24-year-old leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. In Israel’s War of Independence, the kibbutz managed to defend itself in a fierce battle with the Egyptian forces, preventing them from reaching Tel Aviv. The museum “From Holocaust to Revival” was established to pass on the memory of the Holocaust and ghetto uprisings to a new generation. Visitors are led through stage after stage of Jewish history, from the Holocaust and the partisan battles of World War II, to the illegal immigration to the Land of Israel and the founding of the State.

Northbound Route:

  • Travel to AD HALOM Bridge over the Lachish river, where the Egyptian army was stopped on their way to conquer Tel Aviv in 1948.
  • Head towards the town of Rehovot to visit AYALON INSTITUTE. Established by the Haganah 1946–1948, this was a concealed bullet factory, 8 meters underground in a working kibbutz. Its openings were hidden by a 10-ton oven and a large washing machine, whose noise camouflaged the noise of the manufacturing of bullets
  • Drive to Tel Aviv to visit INDEPENDENCE HALL, originally the private home of Meir Dizengoff, first Mayor of Tel Aviv who donated the building to house the first Art Museum of Tel Aviv. On May 14, 1948 the Declaration of Independence was read at this location by David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister , an act which changed the focus of the museum to reflect the historical event.
  • Drive north of Tel Aviv to visit Kibbutz EIN SHEMER, one of many kibbutzim that laid the economical and social foundations for the Jewish state of Israel. Its museum, exhibits and activities, are dedicated to recreating life during the period of the first settlers.

Optional Sites

Sites on the same route and close in themes and therefore can be exchanged or added, depending on personal preferences and time constraints.

The “Orange Growing Site” (Minkov Museum): named after Zalman Minkov, a Russian immigrant, and it was exclusively dependent on Jewish immigrant labor for harvesting and packing the citrus harvest. The museum details the story of orange growing in renewing Israel with a reconstructed packing house, a well, irrigation ditches, the home of a citrus grower and tracks on which the boxes of picked fruit were transported.
Palmach Museum: an experiential museum, covering the history of the Palmach from its young recruits till the end of the War of Independence, through the stories of individuals and groups by the use of 3 dimensional decor, films and various effects incorporating documentary materials.
Etzel Museum: dedicated to the history of the struggle for Independence. Its main exhibit is the Passover 1949 campaign to liberate Jaffa.
Atlit an immigrant detention camp telling the story of the struggle of Jews who fled Europe from Nazi persecution in an effort to reach Palestine, where they were confined in British detention camps.
Beit Aharonson: located in Zichron Ya’akov, outlines the story of the Aharonson family. A particularly apt reading for youth is the story of “Sarah, GIborat Nili” one of the heroines of this new land who acted for the Jewish secret organization “Nili”, which spied for Britain against the Ottoman Turks in the First World War.
Af Al Pi Chen: naval museum in Haifa devoted to clandestine immigration.