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Two Americans Fighting with Israeli Forces Killed in Gaza

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Image: A ball of fire explodes during an Israeli shelling in the eastern part of Gaza City
A ball of fire explodes during an Israeli shelling in the eastern part of Gaza City on July 20,2014. Israel's operation against Hamas saw one of its bloodiest days with 46 Palestinians killed in Gaza and two Israeli soldiers dying in a clash with militants who infiltrated the Jewish state. As Israeli warplanes bombarded Gaza from the air, and ground troops pressed an assault on land, the Palestinian death toll rose to 342, with rights groups warning that a growing number of victims are children. MAHMUD HAMS / AFP - Getty Images

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Two Americans who volunteered to fight with the Israeli army were among those killed during the current incursion into Gaza, the State Department said late Sunday.

In a brief statement, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki identified the dead as Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli. She provided no additional information.

Image: Max Steinberg in an undated photo posted on Facebook.
Max Steinberg in an undated photo posted on Facebook.Facebook

NBCLosAngeles reported that Steinberg, 24, was a Woodland Hills, California, native who graduated from El Camino High School and attended Pierce College in Los Angeles before joining the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). News of his death was first reported by the Jewish Journal, a Los Angeles newspaper, it said.

The Alegemeiner news website, which says it covers Jewish and Israeli news, said 21-year-old Nissim Sean Carmeli had lived in South Padre Island, Texas, before volunteering for duty in the IDF’s Golani Brigade. It said both Carmeli and Steinberg were killed along with 11 other members of elite unit in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, considered a Hamas stronghold.

Image: Nissim Sean Carmeli, left, with Hecht in Jerusalem in 2012
Nissim Sean Carmeli, left, with Rabbi Asher Hecht of Texas in Jerusalem in 2012.Rabbi Asher Hecht via Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley / AP

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