The Latrun Battles
The Latrun locality, which was controlled by the Arabs and the Arab-Jordan Legion, included the British police station, the monastery and the Arab village, blocked the main road to Jerusalem. In order to penetrate it several operations were executed which ended in failure.
During the War of Independence several fierce battles were fought in the Latrun region. This was an important strategic area, since it included the British police station, the monastery and the Arab village, which were controlled by the Arabs and the Arab-Jordanian Legion. The defense dug trenches and built fortifications, and had ample arms assistance. In spite of heavy pressure on all domestic battle fronts, David Ben-Gurion decided to give full priority to the opening of the main road to Jerusalem, owing to the very difficult situation in the besieged city and the fear that – with a ceasefire – it would remain severed from the Jewish state. Consequently, in May and June of 1948, several units and brigades of the Palmach were deployed to attack Latrun and open up the road. Within the framework of the Bin-Nun 'A' and 'B', 'Yoram', 'Dani' and fortified heights operations, severe skirmishes took place. The death toll was very high. But the road remained blocked.