Nine American citizens lost their lives since the terrorist organization Hamas began its attack on Israel Saturday, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation on Monday.
The conflict began after dozens of terrorists from Hamas, located in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, invaded Israel Saturday morning and began mass executing and kidnapping civilians and soldiers, prompting Israel to declare war. A department spokesperson told the DCNF that it could confirm the American death toll in the conflict had risen to a total of nine and that the department expressed its condolences to the families. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Babies Being Taken By Terrorists’: Israelis React To Hamas’ ‘Shocking’ Surprise Attack)
“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and to the families of all those affected,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in touch with our Israeli partners and the local authorities. We are in touch with the families and providing all appropriate consular assistance.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Sunday that multiple Americans had possibly been taken hostage or killed after Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer stated that Americans are among the hostages taken by Hamas. The spokesperson told the DCNF that the department is still working to confirm the number of Americans that have been taken hostage over the last two days, and that they were working in coordination with the Israeli government as it took back control of areas in Gaza and the West Bank.
Hamas began its attack around 6:30 a.m. and infiltrated the country using paragliders to bring terrorists inside the Israeli border along with launching over thousands of rockets over the weekend, Reuters reported, constituting the most serious attack on the Jewish state since the 1970s. The Israel Defense Forces said late Sunday that over 700 Israelis had been killed with over 2,100 injured, according to a post on Twitter.
Mohammad Deif, military chief of Hamas, called the attack “Al-Aqsa Storm” and encouraged Palestinians to get their guns, saying, “This is the time to use it — get out with trucks, cars, axes, today the best and most honorable history starts.” Prime Israel’s Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that the country was “at war” following the assault and said Monday during a meeting with other Israeli leaders that Hamas will be defeated “forcefully.”
“We are in the midst of a campaign. I know that you have undergone a difficult and terrible ordeal,” Netanyahu said. “What Hamas will experience will be difficult and terrible.”
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