The White House on Thursday said that at least 27 American citizens have died as a result of unfolding violence in Israel, marking an uptick in the number of fatalities from earlier in the day.
National security spokesman John Kirby also said that the number of Americans unaccounted for is 14, which is a decrease from the 17 unaccounted for Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that at least 25 Americans were confirmed to be killed during a press conference in Israel.
The White House has not yet determined how many Americans they think are being held hostage by Hamas but have said that the number is still believed to be less than a handful.
Kirby on Wednesday said that the number of Americans believed to be held as hostages is “very small” but wouldn’t give more information about proof of life or details about whereabouts and condition. U.S. officials are working with the Israelis, allies in the region such as Qatar and family members of those Americans missing to try to secure their release amid a very complex situation, according to the White House.
President Biden on Wednesday also did not give details about the American hostages.
“I have not given up hope on bringing these folks home. But the idea that I’m going to stand here before you and tell you what I’m doing is bizarre,” he said.
Overall, more than 1,200 people have died since Hamas, the militant group, launched attacks against Israel on Saturday.