Five days after Hamas attacked Israel suddenly with 1,000 fighters and slaughtered hundreds, reports are that 25 Americans are among the dead.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reported the number on Thursday from Israel during a press conference that also included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Tragically, the number of innocent lives claimed by Hamas’s heinous attacks continues to rise,” Blinken said. “Among those, we now know that at least 25 American citizens were killed.”
“We joined families in Israel in the United States around the world in mourning their immeasurable loss,” he added.
Some of the American dead are now becoming known to the media in the U.S.
Hayim Katsman, 32, was hiding in a closet in his apartment with a female neighbor when he was discovered and shot by Hamas fighters. The neighbor was apparently released.
Katsman had a PhD in international studies from the University of Washington that focused on "the interrelations of religion and politics in the Middle-East, focusing on Israel/Palestine."
Utahan Lotan Abir was only 24 years old and had lived in Israel for about nine months when he attended a music festival/rave in the desert near the Gaza border that was attacked by Hamas. Abir was killed by the fighters along with more than 260 others, but his friends are said to have survived.
The teenage dual citizen son of Deborah Matthias reported that she was killed by Hamas along with her husband Shlomi, an Israeli citizen.
16-year-old Rotem Mathias said that he and his parents barricaded themselves into their house during the attack and that his parents shielded him with their bodies when Hamas militants shot a spray of bullets into the home through the windows.
Matthias told Good Morning America that his father lost his arm before dying when militants shot open their door and threw a grenade inside.
These heartbreaking deaths are only a tiny fraction of those who have died.
Blinken said that American military resources are already in the region to help Israel subdue Hamas and that America would continue to support them with the cooperation of Congress.
“As Israel’s defense needs evolve, we will work with Congress to make sure that they’re met,” he told Netanyahu. “And I can tell you, there is overwhelming, overwhelming bipartisan support in our Congress for Israel’s security.”