JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two American citizens were among the 13 Israeli soldiers killed in the heavy fighting in Gaza City’s Shujaiya neighborhood.
Max Steinberg, 24, of Beersheba and Los Angeles, and Sean Carmeli, 21, of Raanana and South Padre Island, Texas, were members of the Golani Brigade killed Sunday in the battle.
Some 65 Palestinians were reported killed in the fighting.
Steinberg enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces several months after visiting Israel for the first time on a Birthright Israel trip in June 2012. He spoke to his father by phone hours before his death, according to the Times of Israel. The family is traveling to Israel for his funeral.
Carmeli, whose parents are Israelis who moved to Texas, moved to Israel to attend high school. His two older sisters live in Israel. His parents reportedly are on their way to Israel.
The U.S. State Department confirmed both deaths late Sunday and said Steinberg and Carmeli were American citizens.