On one of the towering hills called the Castel over the road leading to Jerusalem a series of fortresses were built over the course of thousands of years to control access to the holycity. As Arabs and Jews fought for control of Jerusalem in 1948 the supply route from the coast to the Jewish parts of Jerusalem, which ran past this hill, was cut off by Arab irregular forces. The Jewish self defense group the Palmah was charged with reopening the road to Jerusalem and a bitter battle ensued at this point in April, 1948. The decisive moment in the battle came about when the Arab forces commander Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni was killed and, in a shocking display of ill-discipline, Arab forces abandoned their hard-won position on the Castel in order to attend the funeral of al-Husayni on the Temple Mount. Palmah forces exploited the mistake and took back the hill top, thereby enabling themselves to reopen the supply road to Jerusalem beleaguered Jewish community.