During the 1950s, armed Arab Palestinian terrorists known as ‘fedayeen’ attacked Israeli border villages from Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Reprisal actions were initiated by the Israel Defense Forces. Israeli forces carried out reprisal forages into Egyptian-held Gaza and the then Jordanian-held West Bank in retaliation for acts of infiltration, theft and murder carried out by fedayeen.
Unit 101 (later merged with paratrooper battalion 890,) was created in the summer of 1953 and those who served in the unit were revered. One of the most famous of the 101’s was Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon. In the early 1950’s they carried out 70 commando attacks against Gaza and the Jordanians-in the West Bank in retaliation for the acts of theft and murder carried out by the fedayeen.
Operation Black Arrow
Operation Black Arrow (Hetz Shachor) was Israeli military operation carried out in Gaza (while under Egyptian control) on 28 February 1955 in retaliation to fedayeen terrorism. This operation targeted the Egyptian army. Thirty-eight Egyptian soldiers were killed during the operation and there were eight Israeli casualties.
Black Arrow Memorial
The Black Arrow Memorial is both a vista over the patrol road on the border surrounding the Gaza Strip and also a monument a for IDF soldiers KIA during the period of the fedayeen. The site is named after the original Operation Black Arrow. The Black Arrow site is a memorial for the paratroopers and the eleven retaliatory operations which were carried out by the paratroopers between 1953 and 1956. The memorial is west of Kibbutz Mefalsim in the direction of Kfar Azah.
On each of the large rocks spread out over the extensive Black Arrow site, a plaque gives details of each of those raids. Audio information stations can be found at vantage points throughout the site, the in-depth explanations provided both in Hebrew and English.
Nabi’h Mer’i Lookout
Nearby is another monument dedicated to Colonel Nab’i Meri, a Druze from Hurfeish – a Israeli deputy-commander of the Gaza Strip who fell in battle in 1996. The memorial is a vantage point over the city of Gaza. This lookout is not visited often because of its proximity to the border. The tower is too good a target for the enemy in the Gaza Strip.