Soldiers during War of Independence
Soldiers during War of Independencearchival

A 75-year-old compass was discovered at the site of a massacre of 35 Israeli soldiers during the War of Independence, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Monday.

The compass was discovered at the site of what is known as “The Battle of the 35,” J-Wire reported.

The massacre occurred when after an all-day battle, the Jewish soldiers ran out of ammunition and fell to their Arab enemies who murdered and mutilated the 35 soldiers.

They had begun as a convoy of 38 Haganah members delivering aid to Jewish communities in Gush Etzion. After being discovered by the Arabs, they were cut off and attacked.

When the war ended, their bodies were reburied at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Cemetery.

The compass and machine gun pods were found behind a rock on Battle Hill, which the soldiers had used a shelter. A forensic analysis of the compass found that its glass had been shattered by a bullet.

Researchers announced that the compass likely belonged to the head of the division Danny Mass or to its scouts Yitzhak Halevi or Yitzhak Zevuloni.

Eyal Marko of the Antiquities Authority, who discovered the compass with Dr. Rafi Lewis from Ashkelon Academic College, called the discovered “a kind of punch in the stomach.”

“Even if the events we studied from the distant past included evidence of destruction and severe acts of violence, the study at Battle Hill is different,” Marko said.