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Blinken says Americans may be among dead, missing in Israel

18:54, Sunday, 08 October, 2023
Blinken says Americans may be among dead, missing in Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed Sunday that the Biden administration believes multiple Americans were killed in the conflict raging in Israel.

“Yes, we have reports that several Americans were killed. We’re working overtime to verify that,” Blinken told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“At the same time, there are reports of missing Americans and there again, We’re working to verify those reports.”

He did not provide an estimate.

Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas unleashed a surprise attack and barrage of rockets into Israel couple with a ground assault Saturday.

More than 600 Israeli citizens have been killed in the fighting and 2,000 have been wounded, according to Israeli officials.

Israel’s cabinet invoked Article 40 Aleph, marking the nation’s first formally declared war since 1973.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed “mighty vengeance” and that Israel will emerge “victorious.”

Meanwhile, over 313 Palestinians are reported dead and 1,990 reported missing, including 20 killed and 121 injured children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Blinken condemned the violence and affirmed the Biden administration’s support of the Jewish State, emphasizing that “we’ve been on the phones throughout our government over the last 24 hours.”

One key difference between this current conflict and past ones like the Yom Kippur War in 1973 is that this is not a conventional war, Blinken stressed.

“This is a massive terrorist attack on Israeli civilians, [with] indiscriminate firing of rockets against civilians — thousands of rockets — men and women and children dragged across the border into into Gaza,” he noted.

So far, despite skirmishes near the Israeli-Lebanese border, Blinken believes the activity there has been limited at the moment.

Given the flareups there, there have been elevated fears of Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah joining the fight and adding a second front, given its alignment with Hamas.

“President Biden was very clear from the very first moments that no one elsewhere should try to take advantage in this situation,” Blinked said, noting that the US is watching Hezbollah “very carefully.”

A potential motivation for Hamas’ assault, which came one day after the 50-year anniversary of the Yom Kippur War may have been negotiations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Blinken surmised.

A cacophony of Republicans have blasted the Biden administration over the recent prisoner swap deal with Iran finalized last month, in which $6 billion in Iranian oil revenue would be unfrozen.

Blinken countered that “not a single dollar has been spent from that account,” which has been closely monitored by the US Treasury.

He also underscored that “we’ve not yet seen evidence that Iran directed” this recent attack, but admonished Tehran’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Many observers have compared the Israeli intelligence failures before the attack to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US.

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