Gaza rocket that killed four-year-old Israeli boy, Daniel Tragerman, was launched from near a school used as a shelter for Palestinian refugees, says IDF.
Sirens wailed only very shortly before the mortar shell struck outside the Tragerman family home at the kibbutz, and his parents — Doron and Gila — were unable to get their son Daniel into their protected room in time. He was killed by shrapnel from the explosion that smashed into the house. Several cars and buildings sustained damage from the fire following the explosion of the mortar shell.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas would pay a “heavy price” for the killing. In a phone call to local Sha’ar Hanegev council head Alon Shuster, Netanyahu said the IDF and Shin Bet would intensify their operations against Hamas and other Gaza terror groups until sustained calm was guaranteed for Israel. Shuster said the family had only recently returned to their home, having stayed elsewhere during part of the war.
US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro condemned the attack. “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,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Tragerman was the first Israeli fatality since Hamas breached a truce on Tuesday and resumed rocket fire at Israel, prompting a re-escalation of fighting and the collapse of ceasefire talks in Cairo. One person was in critical condition, and two others were lightly injured, in a separate rocket attack in the Ashdod area later Friday.
By Friday evening, Gaza-based terror groups had fired over 110 rockets and mortar shells into Israel since the morning. Sirens sounded across southern and central Israel as a barrage of rockets was launched in the late afternoon hours. Earlier Friday, a rocket slammed into an empty house in Sderot, causing significant damage.
Also on Friday afternoon, a synagogue in Ashdod suffered a direct hit by a Gaza rocket. The building was badly damaged and three people were injured in that attack, one moderately.
Hamas has fired over 3,500 rockets at Israel in the past 46 days, including some 600 from close to schools, mosques and other civilian facilities.