Two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza grew up in Texas and California

Two Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza grew up in Texas and California

Two of the 13 Israeli soldiers who were killed by militants this weekend in the northern Gaza Strip grew up in Texas and California states of the United States.

Twenty-one-year-old Sgt. Sean Carmeli grew up on South Padre Island, just off the southernmost tip of Texas. His Israeli-born parents lived on South Padre Island in the Gulf of Mexico for more than 20 years. They built a beach business on the island.

According to Carmeli's Facebook page, he started high school at St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville. But around five years ago, the family moved to Israel as the parents wanted their son and two daughters to live in a larger Jewish community.

Carmeli joined the Israel Defense Forces' Golani Brigade and died fighting with Palestinian militants in Gaza this weekend.

Rabbi Asher Hecht, one of the closest friends of the family, said, "He had always a cheerful smile. He was always optimistic about life."

Another of the two men, 24-year-old Max Steinberg, who also died in Gaza, grew up in Woodland Hills. He was also a member of the Golani Brigade.

More than 60,000 Gazans have moved to take shelter in United Nations facilities in the recent past, as fight between Israeli and Palestinian fighters have aggravated. The death toll has climbed to mare than 370, including 18 Israeli soldiers.

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