Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Old Gesher is in the Beit She'an Valley. The Settlement there began in the 1920s. During the War of Independence, its people fought against the Jordanians and the Iraqi army. After the war, the new Gesher was established not far away. The old Gesher area was renovated and became a kind of open museum.
We joined a trip as part of a “Shabbat Israelit”- free guided tours in various places in Israel. You must register in advance.
Together with the guide, we walked into the kibbutz courtyard and entered an exhibition at the restored children's home. It takes visitors back to the days of shared accommodation – the kibbutz children slept separately from their parents.
We visited a shelter that was being built when the war broke out in 1948. There is a small and excellent exhibition inside. It shows the living conditions of the kibbutz members who lived there during the war of independence. The Kibbutz children were evacuated to another Kibbutz - Ashdot Yaakov - in the middle of the night.
The dining room is the only structure that has survived 1948. The rest were destroyed by bombings. In the dining room, we saw a good short movie about 1948.
Beyond that - Gesher is the story of Pinchas Rotenberg - the brave dreamer who built Naharayim - the hydroelectric power plant that began to be built in 1927 and was destroyed in 1948. A new installation and film are dedicated to this.
From the observation point in the kibbutz, you can see Jordan on the other side. We asked to get closer. To do this, the security fence must be opened. It is only done with a guide and for a fee of 20 NIS, and it is really worth it.
This is the area of the three bridges the fighters in 1948 sabotaged to stop the Jordanians and Iraqis. The oldest bridge is called the Meeting Bridge. It began to be built during the Crusader period and was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Now a metal bridge connects its parts. The border between Israel and Jordan runs in the middle of the river. You stand on the riverbanks and see Jordan…
Within a few minutes' drive you will reach the Gesher Police Station building. It was built during the Mandate period. There were fierce battles against the Jordanians and the Iraqis there. Today you can only look at it from the outside. Some of the fighters there and on in Old Gesher were Holocaust survivors. They are mentioned in both places.
For more trips in the area press here.