JERUSALEM (JTA) — The parents of a 4-year-old Israeli boy killed in a mortar attack called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to speak out about Hamas war crimes.
“Daniel was killed from a mortar shell that was fired by Hamas members from an elementary school for boys in Gaza City,” Gila and Doron Tragerman wrote in a letter to Ban on Thursday, the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot reported. “It wasn’t a stray shell. It wasn’t accidental death.”
The Tragerman family reportedly had planned to leave their home on a kibbutz near the Gaza border on the day Daniel was killed by shrapnel from the mortar attack. They had left during the first three weeks of Israel’s operation in Gaza, but returned nearly a week before Daniel’s death after security officials told residents it would be safe. But rockets began hitting the area again when the cease-fire was broken on Aug. 19.
The Tragermans’ letter criticized the commission of inquiry set up by the United Nations to investigate whether Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip constitute war crimes.
“The Investigation Committee is not asked to investigate how terrorists shoot out of UN buildings and schools,” they wrote. “The Committee is not asked to investigate how inside buildings of the United Nations and in hospitals in Gaza terrorist infrastructure flourishes and maintains over time, or how from these places, terrorist activity is aimed against innocent people.”
The Tragermans told Ban about their family and their son, what life under the threat of rockets from Gaza has been like for the past several years, and about the day Daniel died.
“He died in our hands, in front of his little sister and best friend Yuval, 3.5 years old. He died in front of Uri, only four months old and right before our eyes, his mother and father,” the letter said. “We failed. We couldn’t protect our beautiful and talented baby.”