It was the last night of the Beaufort officers: Exactly 15 years after the IDF's withdrawal from South Lebanon, Ynet met the last three officers of the Alei Taher mountain range in what was the Israeli security zone, for a unique conversation.
This is the mountain range on whose peak sits the Crusader fortress of Beaufort, which can be seen from Israel's border. The fortress was a symbol of the agony surrounding the IDF presence in South Lebanon throughout long and bloody decades.
Golani fighters captured Beaufort 32 years ago, and lost six men in the battle with PLO terrorists. The book "If There's a Heaven" and the film "Beaufort", based on the book, seared the isolated fortress as symbol onto people's consciousness. For the officers it was a daily war scene, and in May 2000, it was an especially bizarre situation.
We gathered the brigade commander of the Beaufort ridge at the time, today Brigadier-General Oren Abman, and two company commanders, today brigade commanders who served under him, Ran Kahane and Avi Dahan, for a conversation about the days of retreat.
For all three, who have since taken separate yet parallel army paths, they fought in operations in Gaza, the second Lebanon War, the second Intifada in Judea and Samaria, this was coming full circle.