American Citizens Among the Casualties in Israel Conflict
CNN – At least nine American citizens have tragically lost their lives in the ongoing conflict in Israel, according to a spokesperson for the United States National Security Council. The spokesperson expressed deepest condolences to the victims and their families, while also wishing a speedy recovery to those who were injured. The situation is being closely monitored, and the United States remains in contact with Israeli authorities.
This announcement follows an earlier confirmation by Senator Chuck Schumer, who stated that four American citizens were among the victims. Sadly, Schumer anticipates that the number of American casualties will continue to rise.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that the US government is “working overtime” to verify reports of missing and deceased Americans. Blinken likewise acknowledged reports of several Americans being killed, as well as others who are currently unaccounted for.
According to an internal memo from the US government, CNN reported the murder of at least three Americans. The State Department has been made aware of additional Americans who remain unaccounted for, but no official comment has been released yet.
Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer of Israel’s government informed CNN’s Dana Bash that Americans are among the “dozens” of hostages being held in Gaza.
In response to the escalating situation, the US Embassy in Jerusalem has revised its contingency plans, including the potential evacuation of its staff via land or air. On Saturday, the embassy issued a “shelter-in-place” directive for its personnel.
The fierce and unexpected attack from Gaza militants on Saturday resulted in numerous Israeli casualties, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to promise retaliation. In response, Israel launched a series of deadly airstrikes.
President Joe Biden has emphasized his unwavering support for Israel’s security, stating that his administration will provide everything necessary to counter Hamas attacks. During a phone call on Sunday with Netanyahu, Biden assured the Israeli leader that aid was “on the way.”
In an effort to deter further aggression, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the deployment of a US aircraft carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Austin pledged that the US would promptly supply the Israel Defense Forces with additional assistance and resources.
However, the Biden administration is confronted with a complex diplomatic challenge unlike any previous Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Republican presidential candidates have criticized the administration, with former President Donald Trump accusing Biden of betraying Israel by allowing Iranian funds to be released. Blinken has refuted these claims, stating that no money from the unfrozen funds has been spent and emphasizing the humanitarian purpose of the funds.
As the situation continues to unfold, the entire world remains concerned about the escalating violence and loss of life in the region. The international community and diplomatic efforts are crucial to finding a peaceful resolution to the current crisis.
Note: CNN’s Kevin Liptak, MJ Lee, and Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.