Daily Israel Report

Is This Why 4-Year-Old Daniel Tragerman Was Murdered?

Kibbutz Nahal Oz residents say five mortars have been trained on them since start of operation, but IDF refused to act.
By Ari Yashar, Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/27/2014, 5:54 PM

Daniel Tragerman hy''d
Daniel Tragerman hy''d
Flash 90

A new revelation suggests that the tragic murder of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman hy''d, who was killed by terrorist mortar fire last Friday in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, may have been completely avoidable - if only the IDF was given a free hand against Hamas terrorists.

Israeli TV's Channel 10 on Monday reported that residents of Kibbutz Nahal Oz have said five mortar barrels have been aimed directly at their community by Gaza terrorists since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 8.

The residents claim the IDF told them that three of the barrels are embedded adjacent to schools where displaced Gaza residents are taking shelter, and therefore the IDF did not strike them to eliminate the threat.

They add that the IDF said the two other barrels are located adjacent to the houses of residents that the IDF was unable to contact during the course of the 50 day operation so as to ask them to leave and avoid harming them. As a result, the IDF likewise decided not to strike.

Appraising the effect of such decisions not to strike, the commander of the IAF special reconnaissance Flying Camel Squadron said recently that aborting airstrikes due to Hamas's tactics of embedding among civilians "sabotages" the operation.

Tragerman's parents said they had less than three seconds to take cover, and that their young son did not have time to avoid the mortar shrapnel. They added that they, like many residents in the Gaza Belt, will not be returning to Nahal Oz at the end of the seven-day mourning period.

There has been a growing backlash against the government in Israel over the perceived abandonment of security for citizens in the south, a feeling that was capped off with a ceasefire deal with the Hamas terrorist organization on Tuesday.

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) has blamed Israel's "misplaced pity" for Gaza residents as being responsible for the deaths of IDF soldiers and by extent Israeli citizens. Likewise, Barak Seener, an Associate fellow at Britain's Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies, told Arutz Sheva on Monday that Israel is "choosing not to win" in Gaza.

According to the British expert, Israel should have gone in harder and quicker, should reclassify human shields as enemy combatants and stop aborting airstrikes, noting Israel "should not subject itself to norms and procedures that no military of any western liberal democracy would ever consider."

Another example of how Israel "chose not to win" was given in reports that Israel knew the location of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif a full three days ahead of its assassination attempt on him last Tuesday, but didn't strike until Hamas breached the ceasefire.

Amos Yadlin, formerly the head of Military Intelligence, revealed last Thursday that in the last assassination attempt in 2006 "instead of a one ton bomb, we decided to shoot two quarter ton bombs in order to avoid hitting innocent civilians. One of them didn't explode, and Deif survived."