Israeli mountain climber Dudu Yifrah of the “Everest Climb for Peace” expedition conquered the mountain from its Tibetan side at exactly 6:51 a.m. local time last Thursday after a grueling final climb of seven hours in -45 degrees weather.
Micha Yaniv, the second Israeli on the team, arrived two hours later.
Upon reaching the summit, Yifrah, a 32-year-old farmer from Kfar Shamai, proceeded to plant Israeli and Palestinian flags, thus keeping his promise to fellow mountain climber Ali Bushnaq, a Palestinian water engineer who currently resides in Abu Dhabi, who collapsed on the way to the top and was forced to wait for the others at 7000 meters (23,000 feet).
Bushnaq broke into tears when he heard of Yifrah’s gesture.
“Now he is my brother,” he said.
Yaniv, a father of two from Beit Zayit, described each step along the final hundreds of meters as “an eternity,” adding that the view from the top was “amazing.”
“Everything looks so small from here,” he told Yedioth Ahronoth from the summit.