Mortar warning system said to be 3-6 months away
search

Mortar warning system said to be 3-6 months away

Residents of towns near Gaza to receive five-second alarm for shells, which killed 15 people during summer conflict

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

A bucket of mortar shell pieces from bombs fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into Israel, March 19, 2011. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)
A bucket of mortar shell pieces from bombs fired by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip into Israel, March 19, 2011. (Tsafrir Abayov/Flash90)

An alarm system that will detect incoming mortar fire will be installed in Gaza border communities within three to six months, Channel 10 reported Sunday.

The system, which is currently in development, will give residents of southern communities near the coastal enclave a five-second warning, but will not be able to intercept the shells.

During the summer’s 50-day conflict, the Iron Dome system successfully shot down hundreds of projectiles, but it is not equipped to knock down the small, short-range mortar shells.

Mortars proved to be one of the deadliest means of attack, claiming the lives of 10 IDF soldiers in one week, as well as several Israeli civilians, including 4-year-old Daniel Tragerman, during the conflict.

Sgt. First Class (res.) Barak Refael Degorker was the first victim to die of mortar fire near the Gaza border on July 26. Two days later, a mortar shell killed four soldiers — Staff Sgt. Adi Briga, Cpl. Niran Cohen, Cpl. Meidan Maymon Biton, and Staff Sgt. Eliav Eliyahu Haim Kahlon.

On July 31, another five soldiers were killed by a mortar shell: Staff Sgt. Shay Kushnir, Capt. Omri Tal, Sgt. First Class Daniel Marash, Staff Sgt. Noam Rosenthal, Capt. (res.) Liran Adir (Edry).

Daniel Tragerman, 4, seen during a visit at the presidential residence in Jerusalem in early August. Daniel was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that hit his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Friday, August 22. He was laid to rest on August 24. (Photo by Flash90)
Daniel Tragerman, 4, seen during a visit at the presidential residence in Jerusalem in early August. Daniel was killed by shrapnel from a mortar shell that hit his home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Friday, August 22. He was laid to rest on August 24. (Photo by Flash90)

Among Israeli civilians, Dror Khenin, 37, was killed by a mortar shell near the Erez border crossing with Gaza on July 15 while delivering food to soldiers. Tragerman was the youngest Israeli victim of the campaign. He was killed by shrapnel after a mortar landed outside his Nahal Oz home on August 22. Ze’ev Etzion, 55, was killed by a mortar shell shortly before the ceasefire went into effect on August 26 along with Shahar Melamed, 43.

A Thai national, Narakorn Kittiyangku, 36, was killed by mortar fire on July 23.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments