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Scarsdale teen, family remember neighbor killed providing military service in Israel

Yanai Kaminka, 20, was Ben's neighbor and his Boy Scout counselor back when Ben and his family were living in Israel. He was one of the first 26 Israel Defense Forces soldiers to be killed on Saturday.

Emily Young

Oct 11, 2023, 9:46 PM

Updated 252 days ago

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Ben Siegel, 16, is safe and sound in Scarsdale but mourning the loss of someone near and dear to him.
Yanai Kaminka, 20, was Ben's neighbor and his Boy Scout counselor back when Ben and his family were living in Israel. He was one of the first 26 Israel Defense Forces soldiers to be killed on Saturday.
"Yanai wasn't an ordinary human being, he wasn't an ordinary soldier, he wasn't just a statistic," says Seigel.
Siegel and his sister are among many who have also lost several friends in recent days.
"He was an amazing person who cared for everyone and everything around him," says Siegel.
"It's very visceral," says David Siegel, Ben's father. "I mean the kids can't focus, we try to get them to get off social media and go back to their routines, but it's very hard for them, every minute it's someone else they may know, and it's very personal, and for the kids it's devastating."
So far, 1,200 Israelis have been killed, including 170 soldiers.


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