Biriya, Forest Everlasting
In 1945, the British tried to destroy this Galilee outpost — their first and only attempt to wipe a Jewish settlement off the map. They failed, and Biriya grows on
On February 28, 1945, the British rulers of Palestine destroyed the Galilee outpost of Biriya. It was their first and only attempt to wipe a Jewish settlement off the map and ultimately it was to fail. That’s because Biriya not only rose again, but its modern-day battle for survival became a symbol of the Jews’ determination to settle the land of their forefathers no matter what the cost.
Established in January of 1945 on land owned by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), Biriya was a link in a chain of pre-State Galilee settlements. Its colonists, aged 16 to 25, belonged to the religious branch of the Palmach — the striking arm of the underground Jewish defense forces.
Besides patrolling the area, guarding nearby Safed, clearing the soil and planting trees, the group built a stone fort that consisted of living quarters, a strong wall, sanitary facilities, a kitchen and a watchtower.