Secretary of State Antony Blinken deleted a Sunday post on X, formerly Twitter, calling for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
Hamas, a designated terrorist organization supported by Iran, launched a wave of attacks against Israel starting on Saturday that killed hundreds of Israelis and “several Americans,” according to Blinken. Blinken deleted a post, viewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation, outlining his phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in which he “encouraged” Turkey to advocate “for a cease-fire.”
The tweet was later removed without explanation from Blinken. The State Department later uploaded a statement about the phone call to its website that did not mention a cease-fire.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan,” the statement reads. “The Secretary encouraged Türkiye’s continued engagement and highlighted the United States’ unwavering focus on halting the attacks by Hamas and securing the release of all hostages.”
Israel has launched a counteroffensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
Blinken separately confirmed that “several Americans” were killed in the attacks on Israel during a Sunday interview with “Meet the Press.”
“We have reports that several Americans may be among the dead. We are very actively working to verify those reports,” Blinken said. “Similarly, we’ve seen reports about hostages and again, we’re very actively trying to verify them and nail that down.”
The State Department confirmed Monday that at least nine Americans have been killed.
Hamas fired more than 2,200 rockets into Israel in the first hours of the attacks on Saturday as militants brutally murdered some Israeli civilians and took others hostage. Israel has called up over 300,000 reservists and warned residents in the Gaza Strip to evacuate, in what could be preparations for a ground assault against Hamas, according to Reuters.
The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Jake Smith on October 9, 2023