Secretary of State Antony Blinken reported on Thursday that at least 25 Americans have been killed in the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas on Israel. The death toll of American citizens in Israel has been steadily rising, with the State Department announcing that at least 22 Americans had died and 17 were unaccounted for the day before. President Biden has confirmed that Hamas is holding Americans hostage, although the exact number remains unclear.
Blinken made this statement during his visit to Israel, emphasizing the tragic loss of innocent lives due to Hamas’ attacks. He also mentioned the heinous acts that have taken place, such as the slaughter of over 1,000 civilians and the deaths of at least 14 American citizens. The President described the horrific scenes of parents using their bodies to protect their children, babies being killed, entire families being struck down, and young people being massacred, even at a music festival meant to celebrate peace. In addition, there were reports of women being raped, assaulted, and paraded as trophies.
President Biden, following a two-day period without public appearances during the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, addressed the nation on Tuesday, reiterating the unwavering support of the United States for Israel. He described the acts of violence as “sheer evil” and provided a heart-wrenching account of the brutality that has unfolded in the region.
While the President suggested that Americans seeking to leave the war-torn country book commercial flights, the situation has been complicated by the fact that many major airlines had canceled their services to and from Israel. Consequently, a significant number of Americans have been left stranded in Israel amidst the ongoing conflict. Meanwhile, other countries, like Poland, Hungary, Brazil, and Bulgaria, have deployed their military to evacuate their citizens from Israel, indicating a more proactive approach compared to the United States.
The State Department has been exploring various options for evacuating American citizens from Israel, including air, land, and sea routes to nearby countries. Recognizing the limited availability of commercial flights, the government is actively working to facilitate the safe return of Americans.