The first bus drive to mount Scopus in 1967

Aviezer Landau – the first Egged driver to lead a bus to Mount Scopus tells his epic story:

Photo gallery

I had the privilege to take part in the liberation of Jerusalem and to witness the Israeli flag on Temple Mount.


Aviezer and battalion number 66 participated in the Six Days War. He entered the old city of Jerusalem together with the legendary parachuters, fought under fire and was the first Israeli bus driver to go up to Mount Scopus with the parachuters, to reconnect the mount Scopus enclave with the rest of the city.


In 1968, six months after the war, he joined Egged Jerusalem, and since then a couple of generation of the Landau tribe is calling it home. At 73, Aviezer is still working. Almost every morning he arrives at the Malcha Branch and takes bus number 19 to mount Scopus.


My passengers today are carrying grocery bags and backpacks of students and homemakers, surely not ammunition like back then. At the last turn to Hadassa Mount Scopus, his eyes turn to the familiar scenery, and he mentioned: "where the student's dormitories are today there was an empty lot. Tranches surrounded The British cemetery. I still regret not having a camera on me back then. Here there was a barricade and the solider asked for permission to move ahead, Motta Gur's commander was also here. I entered the old Hadassah building and wrote a letter to my parents. As I was walking out, one of the photographers took a picture of me on the bus and promised to send it to me. I still hope to get it someday… he laughs. "whenever I go up Scopus Mount, I go back to the first time I took this road and feel good."


Back in 2018, nobody remembers the story of the bombardments of the night of 5th June 1967. They reconstructed all the building and the streets but "I still look for the building I took refuge that night. This building saved my life". 


Aviezer Landau was one of the hundreds of egged drivers who participated in the Six Days War. These drivers are not mentioned in the history books, it ceremonies or in national memorials as if they don’t have a name, just a post as "Bus Drivers." Aviezer was also enlisted when he was 22 years old, married for two months. All the drivers were ordered to check in their branches and wait for orders. Aviezer's branch was in Rishon Lezion. In the first day of the war he was ordered to drive from Rishon Lezion to Givat Brenner. "all I knew is that we had to drive parachuters from Givat Brenner and Tel Nof for them to parachute in El Arish."


The bus drives back then were a real danger. The drivers took the road with no helmets, weapon, or any means of personal defense. "I took the helmet and the weapon from a fallen soldier, what else could I do>? My soldiers were targeted! I had to defend them!" his soldiers were people his age.. only 19 survived this drive, out of 34 soldiers that were on the bus. "I am sure I could find their names, I wish I could talk with them…"


We decided to take the initiative, in Egged, and posted on our FaceBook page Aviezer's special request, saying: "I would like to meet the people I drove from Givat Brenner to Jerusalem, via Nativ Halamed Hey. All of them continued the journey by foot, and we took the ammunition to Jerusalem, where the war started".


Dan Eyal, Micha Nafcha and the bus commander – Shlomo Hermoni contacted us on facebook (this group you have is something else I tell you! Sais Aviezer). We in Egged thank them for their bravery and contribution to the liberation of Jerusalem and their pieces of this heroic puzzle.



Micha Nafcha's Story

Monday, June 5th 1967, 13:00

My hands were trembling and there was no time left. What should I do first?


  • I  join the soldiers lead by the battalion commander – Yossi Yaffe
  • I find all my military gear, scattered all over the place.
  • I get a gas mask and learn by heart the manual
  • I sort up the parachuting orders
  • I gear up with additional hand grenades and demolition slabs.
  • We all listen anxiously to Moshe Dayan's dramatic announcement regarding the war waged on us, on the radio

At 14:15 we are told that there will by no descend to El Arish and that we are going to Jerusalem to take the city line, as it was called back then. The sanctity of Jerusalem, fighting in Jerusalem – this was all strange to me. All the mortars platoon members were on the bus, and there was no place to move. The battalion motorcade is being delayed on the road from Tel Nof, and then I spot one of our airplanes shoots an enemy's airplane while spinning in the air.


At 18:00 we arrive at Beit Hakerem neighborhood. There is still daylight and we were still waiting for our orders, I had no clue about the attack order, designed by the chief commanders for us.

The bus starts driving and passes the Jordanian border, the road was vacant. A missile hit the bus near the Sanhendria cemetary. The driver's windshield shattered but our driver kept on driving.


"our orders were to break threw the police academy and the ammunition hill towards Mount Scopus compound. We were to be stationed at the Pagi Neighborhood and to back our troops with artillery at 02:00. "take notice! At 02:00, we have to be ready to shoot" the commander – Shlomo Harmony ordered at 23:45. At 03:00 the city will be bombarded we need some time to spare."


Our bus was the first to enter the fire zone, all the soldiers jumped out of the bus, and I continued with all the ammunition," added Aviezer Landau. Our bus drives slowly threw the dark streets of Jerusalem. As we arrived at the area where the mortars should be posted, we saw soldiers marching in the dark. We heard bombs exploding here and there but we stayed indifferent to the racket. At 02:00 we descended the bus at our post – 12 Amram Belvi Street.


Micha keeps on telling that "the parachuters continue marching and I get ready at my post. In my right hand, I hold a campus, that will save my life soon. Suddenly I hear a loud noise. My right-hand flies to my chest and I spot a large fragment in the back of my hand palm whish is all bloody. The campus stopped the fragment from entering my heart and saved my life. That mortar shell took Moshe Balzam's life and injured and another soldier. The commander realized that we were exposed and the soldiers took shelter at a nearby building.

Landau remembers him driving up Scopus Mount, having the barricade open and regretting not having a camera. At Augusta-Victoria reinforcement met them, and from there, they entered the old city threw the Lions Gate. Some of the soldiers got to the Golan Heights later that day and to get back in time for the Victory march with the Flag. But… only 19 made their way back home.

"they were my soldiers, they were the only ones with camouflage uniforms," sais Aviezer with sorrow, as he goes through the pictures….