Max Steinberg, a Woodland Hills native and volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was killed Sunday along with 12 other soldiers in the Gaza Strip, amidst an Israeli operation to quell rocket fire and destroy underground smuggling tunnels.
Although the details of Steinberg’s death are not yet known, the IDF reported that 13 soldiers in the Golani brigade were killed in three separate incidents that spanned over eight hours Sunday morning. All of the deaths occurred in the dense Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya.
Seven soldiers were killed when an armored personnel carrier drove over an explosive device shortly after 1 a.m. and three more soldiers were killed during a firefight with a Hamas terror cell. Just before 9 a.m., the military reported, three Golani reconnaissance soldiers were killed when a fire spread through a building they were in.
Steinberg, who attended Pierce College and El Camino Real High School, was a sniper in Golani, according to his Facebook page, and joined the IDF in December 2012. He was living in the city of Beersheba.
Shejaiya has been used by Hamas as a launching pad for rockets and as a starting point for sophisticated underground tunnels that extend into Israeli territory, the IDF said.
The military also reported Sunday that 140 rockets have been fired from Shejaiya and that 10 tunnels have been discovered there since July 8, when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge as a response to Hamas rocket fire.
Steinberg’s name, along with those of the 12 other fallen soldiers, were initially withheld as the army waited to identify the victims and notify their families.
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