Mahmoud Hams/AFP via Getty Images
An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome missile defense system attempts to intercept a missile launched from the Gaza Strip over the city of Netivot in southern Israel on October 8, 2023.
Nine American citizens died In the conflict in IsraelUS authorities said on Monday that an unknown number were still missing.
“At this time, we can confirm the death of nine American citizens. We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and the families of all those affected, and wish those injured a speedy recovery. We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with our Israeli partners, especially the local authorities,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The spokesman added: “We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in contact with our Israeli partners, especially the local authorities.”
State Department spokesman Matt Miller told CNN’s Phil Mattingly on Monday that US authorities are in close contact with the Israeli government and the families of those affected by the attack.
US authorities are striving to determine the number of Americans killed or taken hostage in the conflict. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” on Sunday that the United States is “working overtime” to verify reports of missing and dead Americans, and Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer said Americans are among the “findings.” Hostages held in Gaza.
Qatar is in talks with Hamas about hostages the group is holding inside Gaza, and the United States is coordinating with the Qataris as they play a key role in mediating with Hamas, a senior US official and another person familiar with the discussions told CNN. .
US officials at the White House and State Department, including Blinken and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf, remained in contact with the Qataris throughout the weekend while reaching out to Hamas. CNN contacted the governments of Qatar and Israel for comment.
The United States also pledged additional military support in the coming days, although internal political dysfunction may hamper the response.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced on Sunday that he had ordered the US Navy’s Ford aircraft carrier strike group to head to the eastern Mediterranean, near Israel. Austin said that the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier is the Navy’s most advanced aircraft carrier, and is deployed in the region along with a guided missile cruiser and four destroyers, as a deterrent measure.
But the current Commander of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, responsible for US naval operations in the Middle East region including the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman, is Still waiting for the upgrade To the deputy commander of US Central Command, which oversees US forces and operations in the region, after Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville commented on the military assertions.
At the same time, as the Biden administration looks to provide additional assistance to Israel, Officials were unsure over the weekend About what can be achieved without a seated speaker. Acting House Speaker Patrick McHenry has little power outside of suspending, delaying or recognizing speaker nominations, and it is unclear whether he can participate in intelligence briefings on the crisis.
Administration officials said they would look to the current $100 million in the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows for the rapid transfer of weapons from existing stockpiles, to send more aid immediately, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Officials told lawmakers that the withdrawal would likely require additional money from Congress.
This story has been updated with additional reporting and background information.
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