Mitzpe Revivim, the southernmost Jewish outpost during the early settlement of the country, played a strategic role in the defense of the Negev. It's now essentially a museum on a tiny kibbutz. In 1943, in a desolate and empty Negev, three such outposts were set up to gauge the feasibility of Jewish settlement in the southernmost part of the country; one of these was Mitzpe Revivim (mitzpe means "lookout," and revivim means "rain showers"). Revivim's very
presence, along with a handful of other Negev settlements, influenced the United Nation's decision to include the Negev as part of the State of Israel in the 1947 partition plan. During the War of Independence, Egyptian soldiers besieged isolated Mitzpe Revivim, and a hard battle was won by a small band of pioneers and Palmach soldiers. You can enter its Byzantine caves, which once served as command bunker (the radio crackles original messages) and field hospital; climb the lookout tower; and see WWII-era Dakota C-47 and Piper Cub planes used to bring supplies and evacuate the wounded. A one-page "self guide" brings the rooms to life. Snacks, drinks, and Revivim's fine Halutza olive oil are available at the visitor center.
Kibbutz Revivim, Rte. 222, Avdat, 85515, Israel