Driving west on Highway 1 from the center of Jerusalem, take the right exit on Hemed interchange towards Abu-Gosh. Then take the right turn at the circle to Kibbutz Kiryat Anavim. When arriving in the Kibbutz, turn right at the first fork junction and keep
driving straight until you reach the cemetery.
"The amount of blood that was shed by the Harel Brigade was greater than of any other brigade in the Palmach… they were tested in their body and in spirit by the hardships and sufferings that only few other Israeli units knew"(Yigal Alon)
During the Israeli independence war, the Kibbutz served as the headquarters for the Palmach fighters, as they fought over the Castel, Bayt Mahsir and Nabi Samuel. When the darkness would fall, they would bury their fellow fighters who were killed in action, and then rejoin the battle again as the sun rose up in the sky.
In his story "A Pigeon and a Boy" Meir Shalev describes those dark nights:We didn’t have one night without any action, and there was division of labor: the one that did not go out, had to dig the graves for the one that did not return.
The sound of the pickaxe in the wadi, the iron on the rocks, I can still hear it now, more than the sound of the shooting.
We dig and dig, and never dare to ask for whom it will be this time". Haim Hefer also wrote about it in his song ""Battle of Harel", the words ""Boom, Boom, Boom"" refers to the hammering of the pickaxe on rocks, made by soldiers that just realize they are digging their own graves.
The military cemetery of Kiryat Anavim is the only brigade cemetery in Israel, where most of the Harel Brigade soldiers are buried. There is no other brigade that has its own cemetery. Although, there are soldiers buried in the cemetery that don’t belong to the Harel Brigade, such as soldiers of the Etzioni Brigade that were killed in the defensive battles of Jerusalem.