Blinken says at least 22 Americans killed in Israel-Hamas war

October 11, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that at least 22 Americans have been killed since Hamas’ attack on Israel Saturday, “and that number can still go up and it probably will.”

Blinken’s statement came while he spoke to reporters ahead of boarding a plane for Israel, where he’s set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and other senior officials. 

“I look forward to seeing our embassy team as well that’s been doing terrific work during this difficult days,” Blinken added.

He echoed President Biden in saying, “We are determined to make sure Israel gets every everything it needs to defend itself, to provide for the security of its people.” 

The Secretary noted that already “significant military assistance” has arrived in Israel. 

In fact, the first tranche of munitions was delivered to an Israeli airbase Tuesday evening, and the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has deployed to the eastern Mediterranean. According to Blinken, it’s the “world’s largest aircraft carrier group.”

Blinken further reiterated that the Administration is focused on the safety of “our own people.” Along with at least 22 killed, “we have a number of Americans who remain on accounted for,” he said. “We are working very closely with the government of Israel to determine their whereabouts, and if they’ve been taken hostage by Hamas, to work to secure the release.”

The Secretary was asked by a reporter about efforts to secure a safe passage to get civilians out of Gaza. Blinken responded, “We’re talking to Israel about that. We’re talking to Egypt about that. It’s an ongoing conversation. I can’t get into the details.”

Conceding that the situation is “understandably complicated,” he added that “we want to make sure to the best of our ability—and I know Israel wants to make sure to the best of its ability—that civilians are not harmed.”

PHOTO: Antony Blinken ahead of trip to Israel 

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