Israel Tour Guides – Black Arrow vista and monument
In the Western part on the Northern Negev desert, sitting on a hill overlooking part of the patrol road and surrounding the Gaza Strip – and with a beautiful view over the Northern Gaza neighborhoods – the Black Arrows memorial site is both an interesting memorial and a great vista spot. See the map
The immense size of the site and the number of soldiers and civilians memorialized in the groups of large white rocks placed around the site reminds you some of the heavy Israeli losses incurred in military and terrorist action over a three-year period in the 1950s.
The Black Arrow Association was founded by a group of veteran paratroopers who served during that dramatic period of reprisal actions. The Association set out to create a military heritage site to preserve the memory of comrades killed in battle, many of whom having died a short distance from the site and is a salute to their bravery.
The site is dedicated to the military heritage of the paratroopers during “the period of reprisals”. From the end of the 1948 War of Independence to the outbreak of the Sinai campaign in 1956 hundreds of Israelis were killed and more than one thousand wounded in terrorist attacks inside the State of Israel.
Since the beginning of the 1950s, groups of soldiers from neighboring countries and armed Arab terrorists known as “Fedayoun”, spread fear, death and destruction, mainly in the border villages, many of them new immigrants having just recently felt the brunt of the Nazi’s and the Anti-Jewish persecution in North Africa..
Reprisal actions were planned by the Israel Defense Forces. In the early 1950″s, Israeli forces, mainly from Unit 101, carried out 70 commando attacks against Gaza and the Jordanians-in the West Bank in retaliation for the acts of theft and murder carried out by the Fedayoun.
Unit 101 was created in the summer of 1953 and those who served in the unit were revered. Their most famous of warriors and their commander was Major Ariel Sharon – later a most famous General, M.P., Minister and Head of State.
On each of the large rocks a plaque gives details of each of those raids. Explanations provided in Hebrew and English.
Nearby is another monument dedicated to Colonel Nab’i Meri – a Israeli deputy-commander of the Gaza Strip who fell in battle in 1996.
The history of the site
A stone dedicated to the founding Commander – Ariel Sharon
A map of the commando raids
The roll-call of the dead
The first operation
The view looking west at Gaza
Soldiers from a patrol along the border taking a break