|Hussein's "palace" on the site of a bloody 1917 battle |
between the British and the Turks and on the site
of King Saul's palace 3000 years ago
|Turkish dead at Tel el-Ful|
Tel el-Ful's location and height have made it a strategic site for 3,000 years.
When the 1967 war broke out and Jordan shelled the Jewish side of Jerusalem, the Israeli Defense Forces flanked the Old City from the north, capturing Tel el-Ful on their way to re-uniting Jerusalem.
|British burial party after burying|
But it was not the first time the Hill was drenched with blood. Two weeks after the city of Jerusalem surrendered to the British army on December 9, 1917, the German commander unleashed a Christmas counterattack that was blocked at Tel el-Ful with heavy Turkish casualties, as documented in the Library of Congress photo collection. It was the last gasp of the Turkish campaign in Palestine.
The hill was also known as Gibeah/Givah, a Biblical town responsible for a near civil war in the early stages of the Israelites conquering the land of Israel. King Saul established his court at the location for 38 years, earning the location's name "Givat Shaul." It also served as a Philistine redoubt.