American Jews, other 'lone soldiers' serve Israel

 (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
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Updated: 7/22 6:09 am

The two Americans killed in fighting in the Gaza Strip followed in the footsteps of scores of Jews from around the world who have volunteered to fight for Israel.

Israel calls them the lone soldiers: They are men and women in the prime of their lives who have left their parents and often comfortable lives behind in places like Sydney, London, Los Angeles and elsewhere to join the Israel Defense Forces.

Marina Rozhansky says there are about 2,000 lone soldiers currently serving in the military. Rozhansky is a spokeswoman at the Israel Consul General in Los Angeles.

For Jews who left Israel before the age of 15 or who never lived there, their service is voluntary. For many it is a calling and a way to get back to their roots.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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