Ilan Lookout

Ilan Lookout

On the southeast edge of Elon More. Built in 2007 and named after Ilan Gabbai, who was killed on 7 Av, 5766 (1 August 2006), in the village of Ayta a-Shab in southern Lebanon during the Second Lebanon War.

Ilan grew up in Kiryat Tivon, in a secular family whose political views were quite far from the concept of the entire Land of Israel. After Ilan graduated from high school, he enlisted in IDF Battalion 101, and following his successful completion of officers training, he was given the command of a platoon of religious soldiers.

Despite his initial objections and the anticipation of friction between Ilan and his soldiers due to their differing religious and political views, he developed a very positive relationship with the men under his command. His platoon recorded some impressive achievements and earned an award for outstanding service.

The special relationship that developed between Ilan and his soldiers began with long philosophical discussions deep into the night, beside the darkened windows of a building in Hebron’s marketplace, or during long patrols in other confrontation zones.

Exactly one week after the death of Ilan’s friend and fellow-officer 1st Lt. Yiftach Schrier, Ilan led his soldiers on a patrol into the village of Ayta a-Shab. Hezbollah terrorists fired a missile at the house where Ilan had set up a guard position and Ilan was killed, along with his communication officer, 1st Sgt. Yehonatan Einhorn, of Moshav Gimzo.

Ilan’s soldiers and the Gabbai family built this spectacular lookout in his memory on the Mt. Kabir ridge above Tirtsa Valley, facing the Gilead mountains and Mt. Hermon, Mt. Tabor, Nazareth and Karmiel. On a clear day the Carmel ridge to the west is also visible.

In the spring this area is carpeted with beautiful flowers, including cyclamen, anemones, orchids, chrysanthemums and arum, which blossom between the rocks.

During the spring and fall bird migration seasons, the lookout is an excellent spot for birdwatchers to enjoy the flocks of birds that glide on the wind currents wafting upward from Tirtsa Valley below us to the southeast.

Ilan lookout is also a beautiful spot that gives us a view of the places where Jewish history unfolded 3,500 years ago. According to biblical historians, over 3 million Israelites passed through Tirtsa Valley as the entered the Land of Israel, on their way to the blessing and curse assembly on nearby Mt. Eval and Mount Gerizim, as described in the book of Deuteronomy (chapters 11 and 27). We can also see the Arab village of Tubas, which preserves the biblical town of Tevets, where the rebellious Avimelech, the son of Gideon, died after a woman threw a millstone at him (Judges 9:50-53).

Ilan Lookout has a special pergola where visitors can rest in a shaded place on hot summer days. There is also lighting for tourists who visit after nightfall, and the site is stroller and wheelchair accessible, with washroom facilities and drinking fountains.

Visitors are welcome any time.

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