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 Last Battles and the Fall of the Gush
The Nebi-Daniel Convoy 

 

On the 16th of the second month of Adar 5708 (27.3.48),  a long convoy broke through and reached Gush Etzion carrying reinforcements  as well as 120 tons of supplies, equipment and ammunition.

On its way back, the convoy encountered roadblocks laid by members of the gangs near the site of Nebi Daniel that stands atop the ridge. On the outskirts of Bethlehem, near a solitary Arab house standing on the main road, the convoy was stopped and attacked by mobs of Arab marauders from the surrounding ridges.  An armored car roadblock breaker carrying 14 fighters and traveling at the head of the convoy got stuck and was separated from the main body of the convoy. In the evening, after a few of the fighters had been wounded and despite the efforts made by other armored cars there appeared to be no prospects for extricating them  .  Three fighters who had not been wounded emerged from the roadblock breaker.  Immediately afterwards the armored car was blown up with those who remained in it.  Apparently it was carried out by Zrubavel Horowitz,  May the Lord avenge his blood, the commander of the armored car, since there remained little chance of rescuing them  and the Arabs were advancing towards the armored car.

 

We see the part added to the front of the armored car

which was used to ram the roadblock. 

 

The remaining 180 members of the convoy continued to fight a desperate battle from the isolated house on the main road where they fortified themselves.  The fighting lasted that day and night and the following day, until they were extricated by British forces. The arms, the armored cars, and the equipment were handed over by the British to the Arabs. The British refused to take the 13 dead who remained in the battle zone. The corpses were evacuated the following day and were transferred to Jerusalem for burial.

The Haganah's Convoy Escort Company in the Jerusalem district was depleted and ceased to exist, due to the loss of weapons, armored cars and some of the fighters who were wounded.  After the fall of the convoy - that very same week the Hulda convoy and the Yehiam convoy had been attacked - a telegram was dispatched from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, informing the high command that the city faced starvation, due to the cessation of the convoys on the coastal plain-Jerusalem artery.

 

The house where the fighters of the Nebi-Daniel

convoy fortified themselves remained intact until

the year 1995 when it was destroyed by the Arabs.

 

A letter from a Kfar Etzion member during the days of the siege:

"When you emerge this moment from the entrance of Neveh Ovadiah and see the desolate hills around and beyond them the venomous and destructive nests, I wish that the wondrous figure of Rabbi Levi Isaac from Berdichev  would make an appearance on the ridges, to show the Lord of the Universe who confronts whom in this battle. But until Rabbi Levi Isaac from Berdichev appears we must find other pleaders on our behalf, whose language is more easily comprehensible to our neighbors. The reinforcements that reached us encourage us greatly… Israel is not a bereft widower" (Joshua L, May the Lord avenge his blood).

 

Neveh-Ovadiah - A Spiritual and Cultural Center

for the Gush Etzion Communities in Kfar Etzion.

 

 

§         Those Who Fell in the Nebi-Daniel Convoy

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