State Department spokesperson Matt Miller revealed that six American citizens, serving in the Israeli security forces, have lost their lives in Israel and Gaza since October 7.
Miller clarified that these casualties occurred in the month-plus period following the terrorist attacks on October 7. Among them, five were members of the Israel Defense Forces, and the sixth was a border officer.
The spokesperson shared details of the locations where these Americans serving with the IDF met their tragic fates. Four lost their lives in the Gaza Strip, while the fifth was killed in northern Israel. Miller reported that 800 American citizens, legal permanent residents, and their family members have departed Gaza through the Rafah crossing with Egypt. However, the number of Americans remaining in the enclave, who have registered with the State Department, has increased to 1,200, up from fewer than 900 reported on Friday.
Miller explained the rise in numbers, stating, “One of the things that happens is we continue to identify either additional American citizens or American citizens or permanent residents who have additional family members that they’re reporting to us that we then try to get on the list to get out of Gaza.”
Addressing diplomatic aspects, Miller expressed the U.S.’s openness to China playing a constructive role in the Middle East. He emphasized Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s clear stance on this matter during conversations with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Despite this, Miller stressed the indispensability of the United States in various aspects of the conflict, including delivering humanitarian assistance, preventing the conflict from widening, and negotiating agreements.
He highlighted the U.S.’s achievements in negotiating humanitarian assistance delivery to Gaza and facilitating humanitarian pauses for civilian movement within Gaza since October 7. Miller concluded by noting the United States’ status as the largest humanitarian donor to the Palestinian people.
In related diplomatic efforts, Wang met counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, the Palestinian National Authority, and Indonesia, as well as the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, in Beijing on Monday for talks focused on “de-escalating” the Israel-Hamas conflict.