The Ammunition Hill historic site in Jerusalem will close next week, and will no longer host visitors or events. The heads of the non-profit group that has run the site announced its closure at a press conference Thursday morning.
Organizers accused the Defense Ministry of failing to transfer the funds needed to keep the site running. They called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to find a way to keep the site open.
“They treat us like we’re just a monument,” said organization head Menachem Landau. “We want to remind everyone that this is a memorial site, this is a heritage site and there are events held here year round.”
Secretary-general Katri Maoz agreed. “What we do here is about values,” he said. “As a citizen of Israel I don’t see how it is morally possible to close this site..”
Two years ago, the government told organizers to stop charging for entrance to the site, and promised that a solution would be found to allow the site to maintain its budget without the fees. However, that solution never appeared, managers said.
Among the organizers present at Thursday’s press conference were former soldiers wounded in the battles at Ammunition Hill, and children of soldiers who fell in the battle. The fight at Ammunition Hill was one of the bloodiest battles of the Six Day War, and was a crucial part of Israel’s victory in Jerusalem.