Israeli climber who saved Turkish friend's life to receive Medal of Honor

Israeli climber Nadav Ben-Yehuda (L) and Turkish climber Aydın Irmak. (Photo: AA)

June 01, 2012, Friday/ 14:24:00

An Israeli mountaineer who gave up climbing Mount Everest meters away from the summit in order to save an injured Turkish climber who lives in New York will receive Israel's Presidential Medal of Honor, the Jerusalem Post reported on Friday.

Nadav Ben-Yehuda hit headlines last week after the Israeli media reported that he rescued the life of Turkish climber Aydın Irmak while scaling Mount Everest. Had Ben-Yehuda, 24, chosen to continue climbing, he would have been the youngest Israeli ever to make it to Everest's summit, but he opted to help Irmak, 46, who was  on the verge of death when Ben-Yehuda spotted him on the bitterly cold night of May 19.

He was unable to reach the summit and win the title he hoped to achieve. However, the Post reported he will receive the Presidential Medal of Honor from Israeli President Shimon Peres next month.

Commenting on the news, Ben-Yehuda told the daily, “I am surprised, they called me from the president's residence and told me that [Peres] wants to give me the medal of honor, and I'm still trying to convince them to give it up.”

“I heard about the people who received this medal, and I don't think I am of the same caliber. Some of these people did amazing things,” he continued.

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