"I do not have the ability, and I do not know if any person has the ability, to express the sorrow which befell me upon taking upon myself the terrible responsibility to the Jewish Mothers." (David Ben Gurion, July 2, 1963)
The War of Independence cost the Jewish population a terrible price in blood. 4,795 soldiers fell between November 29, 1947 and July 20, 1949, in addition of many civilians killed in a year and a half of fighting.
The battle of Jerusalem was among the hardest, costing many lives.
Shaar Ha'Gai (Bab-el-Wad) the gap in the mountains through which supply convoys passed to the besieged city was a hiding place for local Arabs attacking the convoys. Many vehicles were hit and their personnel killed. Raids and attacks of our forces on the roads and adjacent Arab villages cost many combatant lives.
"In their honor and in memory of all those fallen in the War of Independence, a wood was planted in Shaar Ha'Gai."
During the planting ceremony, Fifteenth of Shvat (January 16, 1949) David Ben Gurion spoke to the bereaved families (see in the documents).
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