Four-Year-Old Killed by Gaza Mortar

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
At the levayah of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, Hy”d. President Reuven Rivlin helps carry the aron at the Hevel Shalom Cemetery in southern Israel on Sunday. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
At the levayah of 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, Hy”d. President Reuven Rivlin helps carry the aron at the Hevel Shalom Cemetery in southern Israel on Sunday. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Jews throughout the world mourned the death of Daniel Tragerman, Hy”d, the 4-year-old boy killed by a mortar shell fired at Kibbutz Nahal Oz from the Gaza Strip on Friday.

Hundreds of people attended the levayah on Sunday at the Hevel Shalom Cemetery in the Eshkol region.

Tragerman was the first Israeli child to be killed in several weeks of fighting. Three other civilians and 64 soldiers, Hy”d, have died in the fighting. “We love you so much, we don’t want to part from you,” Tragerman’s mother Gila said at the levayah.

“Daniel, I cannot believe I am here now, saying goodbye. We were the happiest family in the world, and I just cannot come to grips with it. We wanted to say thanks, you taught us how to love and you gave us so much joy. I find solace in the fact that you were a loved and happy child until your last minute.”

During the air raid, Daniel’s parents grabbed his younger sisters, Yuval, 3, and Ori, 1, and ran for cover. His father ran back for the 4-year-old, but another mortar hit a car parked outside the family house, which sent shrapnel flying that killed the boy.

His mother, Gila, said they had only three seconds to get their son to shelter.

Daniel was always responsible about the warnings and the sirens. Every time there was an alert, he knew just where to go and what to do and that “once everyone was inside the safe room he’d say now we’re all safe,” she said.

The tragedy occurred just as the Tragermans were packing their bags to leave the kibbutz, located less than two miles from the Gaza border, for a safer place. It was to be the second time during the war they would be staying further north with friends and family.

The IDF said the mortar was fired near a school that Hamas was using to shelter displaced Palestinians.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting with condolences to the family, describing Daniel as “a sweet and innocent boy who was murdered by the firing of reprehensible Hamas terrorists.”

President Reuven Rivlin participated in the levayah and also gave a hesped. It is to provide security for the future of such children that we fight, he said.

“We paid with blood that has no price,” he said.

“We are with you in deep mourning,” said Alon Shuster, head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, at the funeral. “Here in this painful place, we are waiting for another day, a day where children can play in their yard and bomb shelters can be just another room. So many children made it to the bomb shelter and Daniel didn’t make it; we will do all that we can so that life will go on.”

U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro wrote on Friday: “I’ve just heard the terrible news that a 4-year-old child was killed by a mortar strike in the South. I condemn in the strongest terms this outrageous terrorist attack and offer condolences to the boy’s family. Israel has the right and obligation to defend itself, which the United States supports.”