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The Palmach Cave

Israeli Military History

The site of the Palmach Cave in the Mishmar HaEmek Kibbutz is the historic location of the Palmach freedom fighters’ training and operations base. The Cave is an active tourist site, offering a fascinating encounter with the place where the Palmach’s special units were formed in the years prior to the founding of the IDF.

 

In the beginning of the previous century, and even prior to that, the cave was used for dwelling by Bedouin shepherds, migrating with their herds on the slopes of the Menashe Plateau. When the Mishmar HaEmek kibbutz moved to its permanent location in 1921, the place turned into a play site for the children of the kibbutz. In 1941, when the decision to form the Palmach was made, the cave became the training base for the Palmach’s special units. In this Cave, Mistaravim fighters from neighboring Arab countries gathered, as well as where the German unit, whose soldiers were meant to be assimilated in German units fighting in the western desert during World War II trained. It is where the Palmach census was taken before leaving for daring assignments.

 

With the founding of Israel, the cave stood deserted. It was renovated in 1989 by the members of the Mishmar HaEmek Kibbutz, who turned it into a heritage site that attracts visitors from all over Israel and from around the world.

 

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