Explosives-filled Syrian bunker from ’67 war uncovered in Golan

Defense Ministry finds dozens of mortar shells inside, along with other munitions, amid mine-clearing effort

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Israel’s national mine-clearing outfit on Tuesday uncovered a Syrian military bunker full of explosives on the Golan Heights that had been abandoned following the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel captured the plateau from Syria, the Defense Ministry said.

The underground bunker was found during ongoing excavations by the ministry’s National Mine Action Authority in an area of the western Golan that held a Syrian outpost, known as al-Murtafa, which was used by the Syrian military to shoot at Israeli communities in the Hula valley below prior to the war.

“During the work, a bunker was discovered, full of hundreds of pieces of ordnance, including mortar shells of different calibers, flares, pyrotechnic munitions, explosives, hunting rifle ammunition and others inside their original packages or spread out,” the ministry said.

Once they were removed from the bunker, the munitions were moved to a secure storage facility, where they will be held until they can be safely destroyed.

The Mine Action Authority has been clearing the area around the bunker, which is now home to the Mitzpeh Gadot memorial to the Alexandroni Brigade, as part of its overall effort to open more and more parts of the Golan to hikers and tourists.

According to the ministry, thousands of mines are still buried in the ground in that area.

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