“Sprig; Tashah; the month of Shvat; the 17th of Adar Bet, 27.3.1948; noontime.
A convoy embarks on its way towards isolated Yehiam, a Jewish island at the heart of enemy territory. Ninety Hagana soldiers of the Carmeli Brigade’s 21st battalion… Arab gang members and armed villagers launch a sudden attack on the convoy intending to surround it to the death. And their numbers cannot be told. The battle was Ruthless.”… This is an excerpt of the battle description carved on the memorial plaque at the Yehiam Convoy Memorial site.
The impressive site, planned by Yechiel Arad – a member of Kibbutz Sa’ar whose brother was among the Convoy’s fallen – was inaugurated in 1969 about 300 meter (~328 yards) south of the Kabri intersection (road 70).
The site’s location was not randomly picked; this place is where an ambush was set for the Carmeli Brigade convoy, headed by regiment commander Ben-Ami Pachter, on its way to deliver supplies to besieged Kibbutz Yehiam. During the unforgiving battle that persisted approximately ten hours, 47 soldiers have fallen. The site itself details the names of 69 casualties, since 22 more soldiers were killed in two other incidents surrounding the besieged Kibbutz – and the caption written in their memory says: “For the Renown and Glory of the courageous pioneers and defenders who saturated this place with their blood in their haste to free the besieged Yehiam on the 9th of Shvat Hatashah, 12th of Tamuz and on the 17th of Adar-Bet Hatashah. Their memory will forever remain in our hearts”. In the area of the monument there are also skeletons of the attacked armored vehicles. On the 14th of May 1948 the Carmeli Brigade launched an operation to remove the siege imposed on Western Galilee settlements. The operation was named after the commander of the Yehiam Convoy: the Ben Ami Operation. On the morning of May 21st’ 1948, the road to Yehiam was liberated. Netive HaShayara (Convoy’s Course) and Ben-Ami are the names of two of the settlements in this area.