U.S. casualties

Few details on Americans missing, killed in Israel

U.S. officials urge American citizens in Israel to remain cautious while sharing little about American casualties

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken speaks during a press conference at the State Department on August 15, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

As Hamas’ assault on Israel entered a third day, details about American citizens killed or taken hostage by the terrorist organization remained scant. 

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the U.S. is “working to get the facts” about reports of American hostages. A National Security Council spokesperson told CBS News on Monday morning that at least nine Americans were confirmed dead.

Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer said on CNN on Sunday that “scores of hostages” were taken into Gaza. “I can tell you there’s also American hostages as part of that number as well,” Dermer added. An Israeli Embassy spokesperson declined to offer any specifics but told Jewish Insider that “those are people with dual citizenship like a lot of Israelis.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected, and wish those injured a speedy recovery,” a National Security Council official told Axios on Sunday. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners, particularly the local authorities.”

Blinken spoke on Sunday to the foreign ministers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates about Washington’s “unwavering focus on halting the attacks by Hamas and securing the release of all hostages,” according to official readouts of the conversations.

Unverified videos on social media showed armed terrorists taking people to Gaza and parading them through the streets. A Holocaust survivor in a wheelchair was among those kidnapped, Blinken said. Social media posts also showed that young children and entire families had been taken captive.

The U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem created an online crisis intake form for American citizens in Israel to fill out to contact the embassy. A security alert issued Sunday urged continued caution.

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