'Minefield wasn't marked off'

As injured kids recover in hospital, IDF claims signs warn of explosion hazard.

By BYBY JPOST.COM STAFF
February 8, 2010 03:09
1 minute read.
Daniel Yuval speaks to reporters in hospital

Daniel Yuval . (photo credit: Channel 2)

Guy and Tal Yuval, parents of Amit, 12, and Daniel, 11, who were wounded by a mine during a family outing in the Golan Heights on Saturday, said Sunday that the minefield was not clearly and properly marked.

At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where their children were being treated, they criticized authorities for failing to draw the public’s attention to danger in an area that was popular with families looking to play in the snow.

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Five members of the family were wounded on Saturday afternoon, when a mine exploded in the northern Golan Heights. The incident apparently occurred when they entered a minefield near Mount Avital.

The couple expressed amazement at the fact there were no signs designating the area as a minefield, going on to “thank divine intervention that a greater tragedy did not occur and that additional mines did not explode that could have injured many more visitors playing in the snow.”

The Yuvals visited their daughter Amit, whose eyes were wrapped following treatment. Her brother Daniel remained in the recovery room after doctors had to amputate one of his feet.

Before being rushed into the operating room on Saturday, Daniel told the doctors that he and his family had been playing in the snow, and that they had not seen any reason not to play in the area, when suddenly there was a loud explosion.

The Yuvals’ version of the events was contradicted by the IDF. In an interview with Israel Radio, an officer said that the minefield was clearly marked off by a fence and that the family had traversed it and entered the field. Furthermore, other hikers did the same thing.

The officer told Israel Radio that all along the road leading to the minefield there are fences and signs warning drivers of the approaching danger zone, and that it is difficult to not see these warning signs. According to the officer, the IDF has a unit dedicated to the upkeep of fences and signs in the area.


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