In the aftermath of President Joe Biden’s address, revealing that fourteen American citizens tragically lost their lives during Hamas’ unprovoked attack on Israel, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan addressed the White House Press Corps. He shared that the U.S. Government is actively monitoring the situation, and as of now, there are twenty American citizens reported as missing in Israel.
While confirming the count of 14 deceased and 20 missing Americans, Sullivan was unable to provide specific details about how many of the missing individuals might be held as hostages by Hamas.
NOW – 20 or more Americans "are missing" in Israel.pic.twitter.com/4MmsZJTptr
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) October 10, 2023
Addressing the reporters, Sullivan conveyed the following: “We, like many of you, watched with shock and grief as Hamas perpetrated acts of violence against innocent civilians in Israel. Over a thousand men, women, and children fell victim to this brutal onslaught, occurring within their homes, on the streets, and in the open desert. Tragically, among the victims were at least 14 Americans. Our hearts go out to all the lives lost, and we are collaborating closely with Israeli authorities to determine the whereabouts of the missing, including American citizens. As the President mentioned, the actions of Hamas in recent days echo the same evil and barbarity we’ve witnessed from groups like ISIS. The unspeakable horrors inflicted upon people, regardless of age or gender, are reminiscent of what we’ve seen during the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria.”
Regarding the missing Americans, Sullivan informed the press, “We lack information about their condition and cannot confirm the precise number of American citizens involved. We estimate that there are 20 or more Americans who are unaccounted for. It’s important to emphasize that this does not necessarily mean there are 20 or more American hostages; it merely signifies those we are unable to locate. We are working tirelessly to determine the status of these Americans and will provide you with further information as soon as it becomes available.”
In a pre-prepared statement, Sullivan emphasized, “We are aware that U.S. citizens are among the missing, and, as the President mentioned, some are being held hostage. We are collaborating with the Israeli government and our regional partners on all aspects of this hostage crisis. This includes intelligence sharing and deploying experts from various U.S. government agencies to support the Israeli government in hostage recovery efforts. As the President just said, there is no higher priority than ensuring the safety and well-being of American citizens held captive abroad.”
Reporter: "Has the President spoken to any of the families of the 14 American citizens who were killed?"
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: "He has not yet spoken with the families…" pic.twitter.com/Thh0RNaocx
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 10, 2023
As reported by several outlets, Sullivan’s comments followed a press conference by four families of missing Americans who expressed their frustration, having received no contact from the State Department, the Biden Administration, or the Israeli government since the conflict began. Sullivan seemed to confirm these reports when he disclosed that President Biden had not yet been in touch with any of the 14 families of the missing Americans.
Additionally, Sullivan did not comment on whether the Biden Administration intends to re-impose freezing the $6 billion in assets recently released for Iran’s use.