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Two American citizens volunteering for Israeli army killed in Gaza Strip

July 21, 2014, 10:48 UTC+3

The short statement by US State Department only mentions the victims’ names

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WASHINGTON, July 21. /Ivan Lebedev for ITAR-TASS/. Two American citizens have died in the Gaza Strip, according to Spokesperson for the US State Department Jen Psaki.

Her short statement issued for the media mentions only the names of the killed: Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli. No further details have been provided on the deaths of Americans in the area of armed confrontation between Israel and Palestine’s Hamas group.

“Out of respect for those affected by this, we have nothing further at this time,” Jen Psaki said.

According to media reports, the victims had dual citizenship, were serving in the Israeli army and were killed on Sunday during combat actions in the Gaza Strip. Steinberg was born in California; Carmeli was from Texas, where his parents currently live.

Earlier on Sunday it has been announced that US Secretary of State John Kerry will embark on an intermediary mission to Cairo July 21 to achieve truce between Israel and Hamas. Jen Psaki reported that he would discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip with Egyptian and other high-ranking officials. However, she didn’t specify, with whom else the Secretary of State would meet.

“The United States – and our international partners – are deeply concerned about the risk of further escalation, and the loss of more innocent life,” the State Department’s spokesperson said.

“We believe there should be a ceasefire as soon as possible – one that restores the cease-fire reached in November of 2012,” Psaki noted. She added that John Kerry was set to back Egypt’s initiative providing for reaching a similar agreement.

On Sunday, US President Barack Obama has informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone conversation about Kerry’s upcoming trip. This was the second conversation between them in three recent days in connection with the situation in the Gaza Strip.

The press service of the White House informed that the president discussed the ongoing Israeli operation, stressed that the United States condemn Hamas’ attacks on Israel and confirmed that Israel has the right to self-defense. Obama has also expressed deep concern over the increasing number of victims, including among the Palestinian civilian population and Israeli soldiers.

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