“We stood as long as one can stand.”
A Reconstruction of the Battlefield of 1948
During Israel’s War of Independence, members of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, with the aid of a small group of Palmach fighters, endured a fierce battle against the Egyptian army for a period of six days. The battle of Yad Mordechai constitutes a heroic chapter in the history of the War of Independence and played an important role in Israel’s defense of the Negev as a whole.
In 1965, to commemorate the events, kibbutz members built a reconstruction of the battle positions, the connecting trenches, the weaponry, and the offensive array of the Egyptians on the kibbutz’s southern hill. Beside this hill, the battle was fought at full intensity and is where most of the fatalities and many of the wounded fell. As a result of this reconstruction, the site has become a must-see attraction drawing many visitors throughout the year.
In 2018, following an extensive renovation funded by a donation by the Council for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in Israel and the Jerusalem and Heritage Office, the site was reopened. It is now easy to reach, shaded, reconstructed according to the historical codes of site conservation, and accessible to the disabled.
The site also serves as a spectacular geographical lookout point on the region, offering views of Ashkelon to the north, Sderot to the east, and the northern neighborhoods of the Gaza Strip to the south. The site also provides audio-guides that tell the story of the battle in Hebrew and in English.
At the site, visitors can purchase the book The Six Days of Yad Mordechai by American author Margaret Larkin, which offers a uniquely fascinating depiction of the story of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and its extraordinary steadfastness during battle.