Ayalon Institute Museum

Bullet Factory

The Ayalon Institute Museum, also known as Machon Ayalon, brings to life how 45 teens and young adults built a weapons factory and manufactured 2.25 million 9mm bullets right under the British forces’ noses. Just north of Jerusalem lies the kibbutz where a secret ammunition factory was built.

In 1945, Israel was a part of British-controlled Palestine. It was right after World War II had ended, and the Jewish people were determined to rebuild the land of Israel. At the time, the Jewish citizens were wholly unarmed. However, they understood that change was coming, and they needed to be ready. Now, Israel has one of the most prominent military forces in the world. It is almost hard to believe that just 80 years ago, the citizens were making secret bullets underground. 

In This Photo: The Yard Where They Use to Dry Out Their Clean Laundry, Including These of the British

Ayalon Institute Museum: A Bullet Factory Under the British Nose

The Machon Ayalon was created and operated by the Haganah, the main paramilitary organization of the Jewish population at the time who was working with the clandestine Israel Military industries. It took years of preparation to smuggle in the necessary machinery before they could build the factory. When the time was right, Kibbutz Hill in Rehovot was chosen as the perfect location.

In This Photo: The Underground Passage That Led to the Factory

It was located conveniently on a hard-to-see hill, where noise would be covered by passing trains, and construction would go unnoticed by the British forces. The factory was built 8 meters underneath a laundromat, where they serviced British soldiers’ laundry needs. A hidden staircase underneath one of the laundry machines led to the underground factory where 45 brave young men and women took on this crucial task.

In This Photo: The Kitchen, Today the Visitor Center

How Did They Do it? 

For three years, the Machon Ayalon produced bullets for the Sten Gun; a machine gun invented by the British in WWII that could shoot 500 rounds a minute. The team could produce up to 40,000 bullets a day at their peak. However, there was more to it than just producing bullets.

The affair was top secret, with every detail planned out; if they were discovered, it would mean the death penalty for all involved. The production team employed clever ways to cover the machines’ noise and when they had to test the bullets in the underground shooting range within the factory. Today you can see all this in the Ayalon Institute Museum. 

They even went so far as to have a tanning bed for the workers, so it appeared as though they had been working outside rather than in a sunless factory. Crazy enough, the greatest danger was not the armed British soldiers nearby but the factory itself; one mistake could have made the whole factory explode. Luckily, there was never a fatal accident, they never got caught, and they could create enough ammunition to turn the tide of the future battles Israel would face. 

Machon Ayalon Museum Opening Hours:

From Sunday through Thursday: till 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am to 2:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Phone: +97289406552

Note: Visiting the museum REQUIRES booking a tour in advance. Tours are offered in English and Hebrew.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Bible Lands Museum


Caesarea Philippi

Caesarea Philippi was an ancient Roman city located at the southwestern base of Mount Hermon. Caesarea is an archaeological site in the Golan

Ein Harod Museum of Art

Ein Harod Museum of Art is my go-to museum in the Jezreel Valley. Ein Harod Museum of Art started in 1937 as an “Art Corner” ...

Mount Zion Protestant Cemetery

Mount Zion Protestant Cemetery in Jerusalem is the Christian pantheon of scholars and explorers of the Land of Israel.

Mea Shearim

Mea Shearim is one of the oldest Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Home today to the ultra-orthodox Haredim Jews, let's visit them!

Beit Shearim National Park

Beit Shearim National Park in the Jezreel Valley holds the ruins of a Roman city, and beneath are the 2nd-century Jewish burial catacombs.

Church of All Nations

The Church of All Nations (Church of the Agony) in Jerusalem enshrines the bedrock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.

Beit Guvrin National Park

Beit Guvrin National Park is an archaeological site that preserves the ruins of the ancient city of Maresha and the caves of Beit Guvrin.


Magdala is believed to have been the birthplace of Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus' closest followers. Rich with archeological finds is a must!

Hamam al-Basha

Hamam al-Basha was established in 1795 by the governor of the north of the country, Ahmad al-Jazar, and is named after him.

Herodium National Park

Herodium National Park is a designated national park established to protect and preserve the ancient site of Herodium. The park encompasses a massive complex that ...

Need help?