The president also confirmed that 14 Americans have been killed since the conflict between Israel and the militant organization escalated this weekend
President Joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday that Americans are among the hostages held by Hamas, and that at least 14 U.S. citizens have been killed in the ongoing war between Israel and the militant Palestinian Islamic organization.
Biden addressed the nation from the White House on Tuesday, stating that the American lives were lost at the “bloody hands of the terrorist organization Hamas, a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews.”
“This is an act of sheer evil,” Biden said. “More than 1,000 civilians slaughtered — not just killed, slaughtered — in Israel. Among them, at least 14 American citizens killed. Parents butchered using their bodies to try to protect their children. Stomach-turning reports of babies being killed. Entire families slain. Young people massacred while attending a music festival.”
On Saturday, Hamas militants launched a large-scale, surprise attack on Israeli targets, including the killing and hostage-taking of civilians. Shortly after, the Israeli cabinet formally declared war against Hamas, a militant group designated a terrorist organization by the United States, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since the 2007 Battle of Gaza. More than 1,000 people in Israel, and 500 people in the Gaza Strip have been killed since the attack on Saturday, with the death toll expected to rise among both civilians and military personnel as the conflict continues.
On Sunday, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan reported that “dozens” of Americans had been kidnapped by Hamas, and were being held hostage within Gaza. Biden said on Tuesday that he has directed his team “to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts.”