The Atlit Detention Camp, a National Heritage Site, serves as an educational center about clandestine immigration (ha’apala) to the Land of Israel. Many Jews who tried to reach the homeland by sea were intercepted by British authorities and incarcerated in the Atlit camp, along with Jews who fought against British rule.
The camp, with its barbed wire fences, watchtowers, disinfection barrack and residential barracks, was restored by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage sites, with great help from its partner, the Jewish National Fund USA (JNF-USA). Highlights include the ship Galina, an interactive exhibit that simulates the perilous sea journey; and the C-46 Commando transport aircraft, which in 1947 brought 150 Jews from Iraq and Italy, as part of Operation Michaelberg. This effort was headed by Shlomo Hillel, an agent of the Aliyah Bet Clandestine Immigration Institute. An exhibit on clandestine immigration from Islamic countries will be installed next to the plane.
Also at the site is the Mordechai (Moka) Limon Clandestine Jewish Immigration Information and Research Center – a computerized database with names and information about clandestine immigrants, activists and volunteers.
*The site is managed by the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites (SPIHS).
Don’t miss: The reconstructed residential barracks.
Did you know? In October 1945, a Palmach (the elite pre-state military striking force) team under the command of Nahum Sarig broke into the camp and freed the 208 detainees. His deputy was Yitzhak Rabin, who later became chief of staff and prime minister. See the fascinating film about the event.