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Heroic Israeli mountain climber to receive medal from Peres

JTA

May 29, 2012 | 10:31 am

Israeli climber Nadav Ben-Yehuda, left, together with Turkish climber Aydin Irmak, whose life Ben-Yehuda saved near the Mount Everest summit. Photo by Nitzan Arni, Isreali Embassy in Nepal

Israeli climber Nadav Ben-Yehuda, left, together with Turkish climber Aydin Irmak, whose life Ben-Yehuda saved near the Mount Everest summit. Photo by Nitzan Arni, Isreali Embassy in Nepal

The Israeli who abandoned his quest to reach the summit of Mount Everest to rescue a Turkish climber will receive Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor.

Nadav Ben Yehuda, 24, was informed that he will receive the award next month at President Shimon Peres’ residence in Jerusalem, Ynet reported.

Ben Yehuda told Ynet that he does not believe he is of the same caliber as other recipients, who include former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Judith Feld Carr, a Canadian-Jewish musician and human rights activist who helped smuggle thousands of Jews out of Syria; and conductor Zubin Mehta.

He carried the injured Turkish climber back to the base camp without scaling the last 300 yards to the top. He would have become the youngest Israeli to reach the mountain’s summit.

Ben Yehuda suffered frostbite in his fingers because he removed his gloves to keep a better grip on the injured climber during the rescue. He is still in danger of losing some of his fingers, though doctors have removed skin and flesh but no bone, he told Ynet.

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