Two American citizens are among the 13 Israel Defense Forces soldiers in the Golani brigade killed in the ground operation into Gaza.
Max Steinberg, 24, was born in Woodland Hills, Calif., where he attended El Camino Real High School and Pierce College, according to the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. He volunteered for the IDF in December 2012 and was a sniper in Golani.
Steinberg’s family still lives in the San Fernando Valley. They were flying to Israel for his burial.
“He was completely dedicated and committed to serving the country of Israel,” his father, Stuart, told the Associated Press. “He was focused, he was clear in what the mission was, and he was dedicated to the work he needed to be doing.”
Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, was from South Padre Island, Texas, and moved to Israel four years ago.
The specific circumstances of their deaths aren’t known, only that all of the 13 IDF soldiers died in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya.
Seven were killed when their personnel carrier drove over an explosive device, three were killed by a fire in a building, and three were killed in a firefight with Hamas.
“We can confirm the deaths of U.S. citizens Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli in Gaza,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a Sunday night statement. “Out of respect for those affected by this, we have nothing further at this time.”
We mourn the loss of Valley native Max Steinberg who was killed Sunday by Hamas terrorists while serving in the IDF http://t.co/6XXxXzQp65
— Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) July 21, 2014