'Minefield wasn't marked off'

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

By BY JPOST.COM STAFF
February 7, 2010 09:08
1 minute read.
Daniel Yuval speaks to reporters in hospital

Daniel Yuval . (photo credit: Channel 2)

 
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Guy and Tal Yuval, parents of Amit, 12, and Daniel, 11, who were injured in a mine field explosion during a family outing in the Golan Heights Saturday, claimed Sunday that the mined area was not clearly and properly marked. At Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where their children were being treated, they criticized authorities for failing to draw the public's attention to danger in an area which was popular among families looking to play in the snow.

Five members of one family were injured on Saturday afternoon when a mine exploded in the northern Golan Heights. The incident apparently occurred when the family entered a marked minefield near Mt. Avital.

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The couple expressed amazement at the fact there were no signs designating the area as a minefield, going on to say that “we 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 operating room after doctors had to amputate one of his feet.

Before being rushed into the operating room, Daniel managed to tell the doctors that he and his family had been playing in the snow, and that they had not seen any reason to prevent them from playing in the area, when suddenly a loud explosion occurred.

The Yuvals' version of the events that transpired was contradicted by the IDF in its response to Saturday’s incident. In an interview with Israel Radio, an officer said that the minefield was clearly marked off by a fence and that the family simply 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 specially designated to the upkeep of fences and signs in the area.

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