On the 50th day of Operation Protective Edge, the IDF reported that aircraft have hit a mortar launch site from where a round was apparently fired on Friday that killed a four-year-old Israeli.
The Palestinian mortar crew had set up a position in or near the Ali Bin Abi Taleb school, which The Times of Israel noted was also being used to shelter displaced Palestinians.
The army said it had warned the internal refugees via telephone, text and voice mail to evacuate the area.
On Friday, four-year-old Daniel Tragerman was killed as he played by the entrance of his home, by mortar fire into Nahal Oz, which has been hammered with mortar and Qassam rocket fire since the beginning of the conflict, and for years previously.
According to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 the IDF didn’t destroy three of the mortars until today, due to their location next to the above mentioned school, or structures whose occupants the IDF hadn’t yet managed to warn to leave via telephone or leaflet.
He was a year in my kindergarten,” said Daniel’s teacher, Adi Sagi, who called him, an “amazing boy, very creative and talented, very special.”
Only days earlier, the family had returned to the kibbutz, after fleeing to relatives out of rocket range for much of the month-and-a-half of fighting.
Daniel’s death has spurred many of Nahal Oz’s residents to leave their homes en masse.
Kibbutz spokeswoman Yanina Barnea said Sunday that only 80 of 360 residents of the kibbutz remain there.
“There was a brief respite, but the fighting has resumed, and we can’t let this continue,” Barnea said, according to Israel Hayom.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon met with residents of the Nahal Oz area on Saturday. He said the government would not initiate an area-wide evacuation, but that residents who leave would receive help.
Tragerman was laid to rest Sunday.
Meanwhile a sarcastic tweet by a Wall Street Journal reporter mocked a rocket strike that hit an empty kindergarten in Ashdod on Tuesday.
“Knocked over a chair, couldnt quite take out the slide,” Tom Gara noted, derisively.
Schools are not expected to open for the new school year in much of southern Israel next week, due to the persistent threat of rocket attacks, one of which, on the same city, also on Tuesday, demolished a home and injured some 70 residents, mostly from traumatic shock.