Last minute agreement facilitates allocation of NIS 2 million for historic battleground’s maintenance
Danny Adeno Abebe
A prominent heritage site commemorating fallen IDFsoldiers is to remain open, Yedioth Ahrnoth reported Tuesday, after an unexpected turnaround in negotiations for the memorial’s fate has dealt it the budget necessary to keep it solvent.
After a drawn out battle with a growing budget deficit, Ammunition Hill’s management announced on Monday that the site venerating troops killed during the Six Day War is to be shut down. The employees were already handed their dismissal notices, and dozens of war veterans and concerned citizens arrived at the historic battleground one last time to remove the tremendous Israeli flag raised above the hill.
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But a solution came through at the last moment; Ammunition Hill’s management and a team consisting of Defense Ministry and the Treasury officials, headed by Government Secretary Zvi Hauser, reached an agreement that calls for the allocation of NIS 2 million ($535,500) for the site’s maintenance. NIS 400,000 ($170,700) are to be doled out immediately, and the remaining sum is to be transferred by the end of the year.
Legacy of heroism
The team also decided to promote a bill that would facilitate the site’s maintenance and development in the long run.
„The IDF troops’ legacy of heroism will go on,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. „Ammunition Hill will remain open so that the citizens of Israel can continue and visit the land where the heroic tale of the Six Day War took place.”
The chairman of the site’s managing foundation, Menachem Landau, said: „We are happy and proud to fly the flag at full-mast again… The prime minister’s personal intervention has saved a great pain from the citizens of Israel, combat soldiers and bereaved families.”
Ammunition Hill is one of the Israeli hisotry’s most renowned symbols. Twenty-one paratroopers died during the fight over the hill, a battle that paved the way for the liberation of Jerusalem.
Itamar Eichner contributed to the report