A four-year-old Israeli boy has died after a mortar shell fired from Gaza struck outside of his family’s home.
Four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was at home with his parents and siblings when the mortar shell hit. The shell was reportedly fired from a school in Gaza that is used as a shelter for Palestinian refugees. Prior to the attack, sirens wailed in the area to warn residents that a strike was imminent, but the boy’s parents, Doron and Gila, were unable to get him into a protective room in enough time.
“The suitcases were already packed,” said Gila Tragerman, Daniel’s mother. “A minute before the explosion I went out to take Uri’s baby carrier (her young son) from the clothesline and met the neighbor. I asked him if they were leaving and told him we were setting off now. I went inside and there was the Color Red siren. The children were playing in a tent inside the house, and from the moment of the siren to the explosion only three seconds passed. We didn’t have time to get the children and go into the protected room.”
When the mortar shell struck outside, the explosion sent shrapnel through the home, which critically injured the young boy. Tragerman later died of his injuries.
The boy’s tragic death, which is Israel’s first child fatality since the conflict began on July 8, has brought about a harsh response from the Israeli government, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making clear that there would a “heavy price” to pay.
Dan Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, took to Facebook to condemn Hamas for the attack.
“I condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous terrorist attack and offer condolences to the boy’s family,” wrote Shapiro on his Facebook page. “Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, which the United States supports.”
Tragerman’s family says they are devastated by the loss of four-year-old Daniel, with mother Gila calling him a “beautiful, smart, sensitive boy. So sweet. We wanted to watch him grow up with his brothers and fulfill himself.”
Sources: The Times of Israel, Israel News, Israel National News