The Tegart police fort at Latrun

A Tegart fort is a type of militarized police fort constructed throughout Palestine during the British Mandatory period,[1] initiated as a measure against the 1936–39 Arab Revolt.


Tegart police station, Nahalal.

The forts are named after their designer, British police officer and engineer Sir Charles Tegart.

In Israel, the name is often pronounced "Taggart".[2] This is probably due to the transliteration of the name to Hebrew and then back to Latin alphabet, along with the translator's wrong assumption that the most common way of writing this anglicised Scottish surname has to be applied ("Taggart" is far more widespread than "Tegart").


Sir Charles Tegart designed the forts in 1938 based on his experiences in the Indian insurgency. They were built of reinforced concrete with water systems that would allow them to withstand a month-long siege.[3] Two types of forts were erected. Five structures were built to reinforce the so-called "Tegart's wall" of the northern border with Lebanon and Syria, using a specific design. Dozens more, of a different design to the northern forts and sharing a common basic plan, were built at strategic intersections in the interior of Palestine.

Many of them can still be seen in Israel today, and continue to be used as police stations[3] and jails.[4] One houses Camp 1391 prison for "high-risk" prisoners.[5]

In the West Bank, several such forts, now known as Mukataa (Arabic: المقاطعة‎, "District") are used as offices and administrative centers of the Palestinian National Authority. The Mukataa was damaged by Israeli forces in Operation Defensive Shield and the later siege, was later restored and added to under President Mahmoud Abbas, obscuring the lines of the original British structure.

The fort in Hebron was used as the headquarters of the Jordanian administration between 1949 and 1967, of the Israeli military governor between 1967 and 1997, and of the Palestinian Authority's governor between 1997 and 2002. It was destroyed in 2002 when the city was reconquered by Israeli forces in Operation Defensive Shield.

The Tegart fort in Ma'alot-Tarshiha, now a police station, is being restored as a historical landmark, attracting the attention of preservationists and tourists.[3]

List of Tegart forts in Mandatory PalestineEdit

The Latrun Museum
Tegart fort at Kibbutz Sasa
Metzudat Yoav, the Givati Brigade Museum in the former Iraq Suwaydan fort
Gesher Police Station
Ein Tina Police Station in Wadi Amud near Hukok

A progressing list. Not all British Mandate police stations listed below correspond to the definition of a "Tegart fort", although they were all part of the same security building project from 1940-41, with later additions.

British name of the fort, current location name (if it changed), history, current state/use:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Connolly, Kevin. "Charles Tegart and the forts that tower over Israel". Jerusalem: BBC News. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b Rubinstein, Danny (2006-08-06). "The seven lost villages". Haaretz. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c Ashkenazi, Eli (11 December 2012). "Galilee police station reveals Mandate-era charms". Haaretz. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  4. ^ Anton La Guardia, Jericho Jail Creates Own Modern History, Los Angeles Times, reproduced in Arab News, March 24, 2006 accessed at 2007-02-28[dead link]
  5. ^ McGreal, Chris (14 November 2003). "Facility 1391: Israel's Secret Prison". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2008.

Coordinates: 33°06′55″N 35°33′22″E / 33.11528°N 35.55611°E / 33.11528; 35.55611