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Operation Protective Edge: Death of Daniel Tregerman

Daniel Tregerman

After being badly wounded by a mortar that struck his home on August 21 2014, 4 year old Daniel Tregerman died later that afternoon.  Daniel was playing in his home with his parents Doron and Gila and two younger siblings when a code red siren blared through Sha'ar HaNegev, informing the residents that a mortar was on it's way and to seek cover.  Doron and Gila were able to safely secure their two youngest children in their home bomb shelter but the mortar slammed into the side of the building as they were coming to get Daniel, who was critically injured by shrapnel caused by the blast.  He succumed to his wounds later in the day, leaving behind a mourning country and a heartbroken family. 

Daniel was the first Israeli child casualty of Operation Protective Edge, during which over 3,500 rockets were fired at Israel by Hamas in an attempt to inflict maximum civilian casualties.  Originally the IDF reported that the mortar was fired from outside a UNRWA school, but sources later confirmed that the fatal mortar blast was fired from next to a Palestinian school being currently used as a bomb shelter for civilians of Gaza. The death of this boy brought the Israeli total death toll since the begining of Operation Protective Edge to 68. 

Thousands of people attended Daniel's funeral on Sunday August 24, including Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.  Rivlin spoke beautifully of the young boy: "He was too young to cross the street by himself because it was dangerous, but old enough to know what the Code Red siren means because that too is dangerous.  He was still learning the alphabet but knew the difference between a shelter and mortar, between an interception and a hit, between birds chirping and the rockets shrieking.  I think of a flower growing here, with its stem being cut. Cut by an evil hand, cutting a life and smile that will never be seen again. I think of a mother and father, and brother and sister who lost their sibling, their son. They lost you Daniel, the most precious of things in the world". 

President Reuven Rivlin attends the funeral of Daniel Tregerman

After originally leaving their home due to heavy rocket fire, the Tregerman family had returned to their Sha'ar HaNegev home just earlier in the week after being assured that the South would be safe from attacks. They returned to their home during the eight day cease-fire that ended at midnight Monday August 18.  An extension to that cease-fire was broken by Hamas militants on Tuesday and hostilities were resumed. 

Sources: YNet News, Times of Israel