The entire nation of Israel on Sunday joined Doron and Gila Tragerman in tearfully laying to rest their son, four-year-old Daniel, the first Israeli child killed in Hamas’ summer onslaught against the Jewish state.
Hamas and its terrorist allies have fired hundreds of rockets and mortar shells into Israel over the past several days since breaking an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire. On Friday, one of those mortars scored a direct hit on the Tragerman home in the southern Israel community of Nahal Oz.
The Tragerman family had been among the thousands who fled north last month during the heaviest fighting in and around Gaza. As the ceasefire took hold, and was repeatedly extended, Israeli officials announced that the residents of the south could return home.
Many were furious with the Netanyahu government for repeatedly agreeing to ceasefires with a terrorist organization that everyone knew couldn’t be trusted. And now, little Daniel has paid the ultimate price.
At his funeral on Sunday, Gila Tragerman delivered the following, heart-wrenching eulogy:
"Daniel, my sweetheart, 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.
"We wanted to protect you, but even the code red siren failed to save you. You would always run first and call your little brother (to the shelter), and then, in a moment, it was over.
“We don’t want to say goodbye. You are the love of my life, the perfect child, every parent’s dream: Smart, sensitive, ahead of his age group and beautiful, so beautiful.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin was also present at the funeral, and had this to say:
“I think of a flower growing here, with its stem being cut. Cut be an evil hand, cutting a life and smile that will never be seen again. I think of a mother and father, and brother and sister who lost their sibling, their son. They lost you Daniel, the most precious of things in the world.”
In a separate attack on Friday evening, Netanel Maman, 25, was critically injured when a Hamas missile landed in the Tel Aviv suburb of Gan Yavne. Maman had just been released from reserve duty after fighting in Gaza last month.
In other attacks, a synagogue, a school and a shopping mall were all hit by Gaza missiles, as were a number of private homes and cars across southern Israel.
Residents of the region are again fleeing to the central and northern parts of Israel until the government and army can figure out a way to curb the incessant terrorist rocket fire.
IDF officials, meanwhile, stated that they are escalating the military response in Gaza, and government ministers are again talking about a large-scale ground invasion leading to the possible “re-occupation” of the volatile coastal enclave.
In related news, one missile from Lebanon and five from Syria hit northern Israel over the weekend. Israel responded to both cross-border violations with heavy artillery fire.