The Koach Fort, formerly called ‘Nabi Yusha Police’ is a pilgrimage site. Every year hundreds of thousands visit the site, the gem of a rare scenery with a wonderful observation point to the Hula Valley. They climb the “Palmach trail”, remember the brethren’s grave and draw strength from the heroin’s story that happened here during the war of independence. Twice the Palmach forces and the “Haganah” attacked the police and were warded off. Only during the third attack was the fort conquered and then it was given the name “Metzudat Koach”, commemorating the 28 soldiers who died during the conquest battles.
The museum’s establishment was prompted by the late Yehuda Dekel. Yehuda was a member of Hachsharat HaZofim (scouts) in Kibbutz Dafna whereby 12 of its members and three of its commanders died during the second battle against the police. Those who had fallen were his close friends. Since the battle in 1948 he worked to fulfill his dream and vision: to memorialize the casualties of Nabi Yusha in a museum whereby the focus would be the subject of comradeship (“Reut”). His friends and varied institutions joined The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites in order to establish the HaReut Museum.
The Museum and Its Heritage
On January 10, 2014, the sixth anniversary of the death of Yehuda Dekel the museum was dedicated in which there a spectacular display is combined with the most advanced media means.
The visitor will arrive from the brethren’s grave and the monument to the courtyard in the center of which stands HaReut sculpture, a creation by the sculptor Emanuel Hatzofeh, a member of Hachsharat Dafna. The entrance to the museum is on the northern side while the southern wall of the fort marks the place that was intended to be blown up in the second attack. The visit to the museum starts with a viewing of a video recorded interview with the author and poet Haim Guri about the inspiration he received from the second attack to write the poem “HaReut”. From here moving on to a section dealing with the Arab rebellion that happened in the years 1936-1939.
The next part presents the start of the independence war in the Galilee and continuing with the three attacks on the police. In this part the visitors will experience a direct encounter with the battle’s development. This is the first museum in Israel in which innovative technology is implemented called “Augmented reality”. In the middle of the room there is a table and on it a map of the galilee with the fort. Through the use of tablets that are directed toward the table, the fort “appears” in a three dimensional presentation and the battle comes to life whereby the visitor becomes a part of the experience and “participates” in the battle; a special section is dedicated to the Palmach training recruits. At the end of the route there is a memorial wall for those 28 soldiers who fell there. Each one of them has a personal memorial drawer dedicated to him in which his belongings are kept. Some of them have even been integrated into the display to show the private lives of the youngsters who, upon their death became national heroes.
The end of the visit will be held in a small hall in which the film “HaReut” will be showed. The film is very powerful and arouses thought and there is no doubt that it will be embedded in the viewer’s even after the visit to the museum ends. From here the visitors will leave toward the Palmach path to a place where the force broke out on the black moon night of the 20th of April, 1948.
Many entities are partners in the financing of the project: The Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites; Heritage division – Prime Minister’s office, through the program’s developer, formerly the government’s secretary, Adv. Zvi Hauser; The Ministry for Culture and Sport; The Ministry for Developing the Galilee and the Negev; JNF – USA; JNF-KKL; JNF-KKL Germany; JCA; private benefactors including the Dekel family, Stef Wertheimer, The galilee kibbutzim, members of “Dafna” Hachsharat HaZofim – the warriors of the Nabi Yusha battles etc.