(AP) — Preliminary reports indicate that at least four American citizens were killed in the attacks against Israel and an additional seven were missing and unaccounted for, according to a U.S. official.
The numbers were in flux and could change as a fuller accounting is compiled, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss initial reports received by the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Most, if not all, of those reported dead or missing are dual U.S.-Israeli citizens, the official said.
Earlier on Sunday, Israel’s minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, said American citizens are also among those who were taken captive. But he gave no details about them or those possibly killed.
“Unfortunately I can’t. We have a lot of dual citizens in Israel. I suspect there are several, but we’re still trying to sort through all of all this information after this horrific surprise attack and we’ll make sure to put that information out so that the loved ones of these people who were killed and who are held hostage, they know as quickly as possible,” Dermer told CNN’s ‘’State of the Union.’’
The Israeli government has formally declared war and given the green light for “significant military steps” to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack over the weekend.
The death toll has surpassed 1,100, and thousands were wounded on both sides. At least 700 people have reportedly been killed in Israel — a staggering toll on a scale the country has not experienced in decades — and more than 400 have been killed in Gaza.