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Baltimore native-turned-Israel Defense Forces volunteer wounded in Gaza

A local high school graduate who joined the Israel Defense Forces last year has been wounded in Gaza, his father said Monday.

Jordan Low, a 19-year-old sharpshooter in Israel's Golani Brigade, was one of 15 soldiers investigating what they believed was a Hamas weapons cache in northern Gaza on Sunday when two rockets struck the building, according to Jeffrey Low of Pikesville.

Jordan Low suffered injuries consistent with smoke inhalation, his father said. He was recovering Monday in the intensive care unit at Rabin Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

The other soldiers suffered varying injuries, Jeffrey Low said, but all survived and were evacuated.

The Israel Defense Forces have reported 25 soldiers killed in the current round of fighting. Palestinian officials say at least 550 Palestinians have been killed.

The current conflict began when Israeli soldiers found the bodies of three Israeli teens who had been abducted and killed last month while hiking in the occupied West Bank. Israeli authorities blame Hamas for their deaths. After several days exchanging fire with Hamas, Israeli forces entered Gaza last week.

Jeffrey Low, who learned of his son's injury early Sunday, said he tried speak with him by telephone Monday morning, but Jordan was unable to talk.

"He's my hero," Jeffrey Low said. "My two boys have learned to think about others before themselves. There's nobody perfect, but they are gems. … We'll just keep praying for peace there."

Jeffrey Low and his other son, Joshua, were planning to fly to Tel Aviv on Monday evening. The sons' mother, Jeffrey's wife Suzanne, died in 2010.

Jordan Low joined the Israel Defense Forces after graduating last year from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School, his father said.

Beth Tfiloh spread the news of his injuries and asked for prayers on its Facebook page beginning Sunday evening. Low attended the school from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Principal Zipora Schorr said several students and former teachers had visited him in the hospital.

"He's an extraordinary young man," Schorr said. "He is responsible, he's caring, he's compassionate and he's passionate. When he gets into something, he jumps in with both feet. Which is why he's in the IDF. He's strongly Zionist and cares deeply about the Jewish people. …

"We've been praying. The whole community has been praying."

matthew.brown@baltsun.com

twitter.com/matthewhaybrown

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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