2 Americans Killed in Israel Violence

As Israel denies Hamas captured soldier
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2014 1:09 AM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2014 7:42 AM CDT
Israel Denies Hamas Captured Soldier
In this June 2012 photo courtesy of Stuart Steinberg, Max Steinberg poses on a trip to Israel.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Stuart Steinberg)

Yesterday, the deadliest day of the Gaza offensive, left 13 Israeli soldiers and nearly 100 Palestinians dead, and two of those Israeli soldiers were American citizens. Max Steinberg, 24, grew up in California and Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, grew up in Texas, but both were passionate about Israel and ended up joining the Israel Defense Forces, the AP reports. Meanwhile, Hamas said it had seized an Israeli soldier yesterday, but the claim, which sparked celebrations among Palestinians, was quickly denied. "There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier; those rumors are untrue," said Israel's UN ambassador. A Hamas spokesman named the soldier as Shaul Aron, gave his military ID number, and said he had been captured during the battle that killed 13 soldiers in Gaza's Shejaia neighborhood, Reuters reports.

"He is a prisoner, and if Zionists lie about the dead and wounded, then the fate of this soldier is their responsibility," the spokesman said. If an Israeli soldier has been captured, it's "a game changer, immediately, because it's going to change what the Israelis are doing on the ground in that sector. They're going to be looking for him," a CNN military analyst says. The United Nations Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire, and John Kerry is due in Cairo today for peace talks. Gaza's health ministry says at least 20 people have been killed in strikes today, while Israel says it killed 10 militants who tried to use tunnels to infiltrate Israel, the BBC reports. (More Gaza stories.)

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