UN chief reaches out to family of Gaza war victim

Mother of 4-year-old killed by Gaza mortar fire says she wanted to ask Ban Ki-moon to bring her son back, "but that's impossible."

October 14, 2014 21:44
1 minute read.
Kibbutz Nirim

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with residents of Kibbutz Nirim.. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Kibbutz Nirim near the Gaza border on Tuesday to meet with local residents who endured heavy rocket fire from Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

As part of his visit at the kibbutz, Ban met with the family of Daniel Tragerman, the four-year-old boy who was killed by mortar fire in Nahal Oz during the summer’s Gaza conflict.

“I just met the grandparents and uncle of Daniel, four years old, just a young boy. What has he done wrong? Why has he to die? Even without knowing anything, even without being able to grow up. This is very sad. I conveyed my deepest condolences to the family, but I only hope that my words of condolence will help a little bit to heal their wounds, but that may not be enough. For that, I am urging again that the two parties address all the underlying issues, to bring peace and harmony and security to the two peoples,” said Ban following his meeting with the family.

Paulina Tragerman, Daniel’s grandmother, brought a large picture of her grandson to show to the secretary-general.

When asked by reporters following the meeting with Ban if she felt he understood what her family had been through, Tragerman responded: “I think he understood, but he can’t do anything. I wanted to ask him to bring him [Daniel] back, but that’s impossible.”

“Just in a second they ruined our family,” she said holding back tears.

Marcel Tragerman, Daniel’s grandfather, told reporters that he came to meet Ban “mainly because my wife really wanted to be here, and I wanted to accompany her.”

“I tried to explain to her that it would be mostly talking without anything substantive – and that’s just what it was,” he said.

Last month, Daniel’s parents, Gila and Doron Tragerman, penned a letter to Ban calling on him to voice his opposition to the attack that killed their son and insist the UN investigate Hamas for war crimes.

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