After Family Hurt, IDF Admits Golan Minefields Not Properly Marked

IDF sources reiterate that minefield which Yuval family entered had clearly visible warning signs.

The IDF acknowledged Sunday that there are problems with some of the fences surrounding minefields on the Golan Heights, and in some of the areas the fences are not visible. However, Israel Defense Forces sources reiterated on Sunday that the minefield the Yuval family entered on Saturday, with five members ending up injured by a mine, was fenced and had clearly visible warning signs.

The commander of the Golani Brigade, Colonel Eshkol Shukrun, backtracked somewhat from his initial statement that the fences are in good condition and are supervised by the army on Sunday. He told reporters during a briefing that "in some places the fences need to be improved as should the signs."

A decision was made at Northern Command to increase supervision of the fences by teams responsible for more than 2,000 minefields on the Golan Heights.

Daniel Yuval, 11, from Ramat Hasharon, lost his leg in the mine blast Saturday. He described yesterday the circumstances leading to his injury during a family trip to Mount Avital in the northern Golan Heights.

"We walked, me, my sister and my father, and my younger brother, and we climbed on a hill," he said. "There were fences, but we did not climb up to where there were fences but below them. We built a snowman, and suddenly I stepped on something and it exploded. There were no signs. There were fences in the area but we were not near the fences. There were lots of other people near there who were skiing. They heard the explosion and got into their cars and began leaving. My father brought me down. Even before the ambulance arrived people removed their shirts and tied my legs and fixed them with a wooden stick. They blocked my arteries. My father was hurt in his knee but he still managed to carry me. I told him I was strong and I would overcome this."

Amit, his 12-year old sister, suffered light injuries when shrapnel hit her face. They were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where they underwent surgery.

Dr. Mickey Halbertel, at the pediatrics department, described Daniel's condition as stable, and said that in a few days the rehabilitation process would begin.

The children's father, Guy, said yesterday that "a great deal ahead of us I saw a sign for mines buried in the ground. There were no signs warning us. I saw some barbed wire buried at a distance, but really far."