Desecrated memorial to slain convoy members
Desecrated memorial to slain convoy membersYaron Rosenthal

School guides from Kfar Etzion field school who went on a tour Wednesday morning were dismayed to discover the monument erected in memory of the fighters of the "Convoy of 35" had been shattered to pieces.

The monument erected on the hill of battle between Aviezer and Kfar Tsurif was vandalized for the fifth time in recent years.

The memorial honors the memory of the 35 Palmach and Field Corps fighters who were killed in 1948 on their way to assist the residents of the besieged Gush Etzion. The convoy was used as the example for the IDF's 'purity of arms' code and avoidance of harm to civilians.

The guides who discovered the desecration and school officials notified authorities to fix the memorial and work to prevent future acts of vandalism. "This is a milestone in our rebirth in the land of Israel. The authorities must mobilize to prevent further desecration at the site. It is hard to digest that this is the attitude we give to those who gave their lives to establish a Jewish state," said Yaron Rosenthal, director of Kfar Etzion Field School.

When the monument was previously vandalized, Yad L'Banim Chairman Eli Ben Shem called on police to investigate and prosecute those responsible. "The law permits a three-year prison sentence against those who desecrate such monuments."

Rosenthal offered to place security cameras on the spot to deter the offenders and maintain the dignity of the fallen, noting that similar damage to monuments has become a phenomenon in recent years, one that must be stopped.