At least 14 American citizens killed in Hamas’ attack on Israel

At least 14 American citizens have been killed in the war between Hamas and Israel, which began Saturday when the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack on the country.

President Joe Biden confirmed the number from the White House Tuesday afternoon during a press conference, marking a jump in the number that was once confirmed to be 11.

The president also confirmed there are multiple Americans among the approximately 150 hostages Hamas is currently holding. He said he has “no higher priority” than these and other Americans being held hostage across the world, saying Americans are praying for families who have been ripped apart by violence.

“At this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. We stand with Israel,” President Biden said.

In an X post on Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces said the first deliveries of war materiel from the U.S. had arrived at an airbase in Israel.

The IDF says the attacks have left more than 1,000 Israelis dead, and at least 50 families have been notified that a loved one has been taken hostage. 

Meanwhile, the Palestinian-run Ministry of Health says 830 people in the Gaza Strip have been killed as part of Israel’s retaliation.

Humanitarian aid groups warn that a deteriorating situation in Gaza will make it more difficult to treat injuries. Doctors Without Borders, which is treating patients in Gaza, said Tuesday it is now limited to the medical supplies and fuel already within Gaza, and said it will lose the ability to treat new injuries as supplies dwindle.

“There is an urgent need to establish a humanitarian corridor for unimpeded, life-saving patient referrals and movement of humanitarian personnel and essential health supplies,” the World Health Organization said.

President Biden didn’t mince words Tuesday when saying the U.S. believes Hamas is a terrorist organization with “no regards” for Palestinians, a similar message in his brief remarks Saturday after Hamas first attacked.

As expected, the president voiced wide support for Israel’s fight, as the nation is considered the United States’ strongest Middle Eastern ally.

In his third call with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu this morning, President Biden said he assured Netanyahu that the U.S. would be sending any additional assets as needed, as he said Israel had the “right” and a “duty” to defend itself and take action against its enemies and that Congress would help as soon as it returns.

The Department of Defense has directed the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the USS Normandy cruiser and several destroyers to move to the Eastern Mediterranean near Israel.

The U.S. assistance comes as Israel said it is conducting a “complete siege” on the Palestinian-held Gaza Strip.

Israel Defenses Spokesperson Jonathan Conricus has made direct appeals to Americans through social media posts to express the dire situation.

“We assessed that there were approximately 1,000 terrorists who participated in yesterday’s invasion of Israel, about 1,000 bloodthirsty Palestinians who went house to house and building to building in search of Israeli civilians,” Conricus said Sunday. “It is by far the worst day in Israeli history. Never before have so many Israelis been killed by one single thing, let alone enemy activity, in one day.”

“If you’re American and want to compare this to something in American history, this could be a 9/11 and a Pearl Harbor wrapped into one.”

Hamas has backing among many Palestinians, who are increasingly fed up with Israel’s decades-long military occupation of land. Hamas is also backed by leaders in some Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, which provides financial assistance and military support through weapons and training.