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Israel revises down its death toll from the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks to about 1,200

A man passes the scene where a rocket fired from Gaza strip hit a building on Oct. 7, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israeli officials revised down the estimated number of people killed in the Oct. 7 attacks to 1,200 from 1,400 on Friday.
Amir Levy
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A man passes the scene where a rocket fired from Gaza strip hit a building on Oct. 7, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Israeli officials revised down the estimated number of people killed in the Oct. 7 attacks to 1,200 from 1,400 on Friday.

TEL AVIV, Israel — In a text message to journalists on Friday, a spokesperson from Israel's Foreign Ministry said "around 1,200" is now what he called "the official number of people" killed by Hamas militants on Oct. 7. That's about 200 fewer victims than Israel had been citing for more than a month.

"This is not a final number. It is an updated estimate," Lior Haiat, spokesperson for the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote. He added that the toll might still change again.

Israeli media quote unnamed officials as saying some remains were initially misidentified. Many of the bodies were burned and mutilated that day, and the process of identifying them is still underway.

The number of hostages being held in Gaza remains at around 240.

The Oct. 7 attacks, and the large number of casualties, prompted Israel to launch air and ground strikes on Gaza, where Palestinian health officials say more than 11,000 people have been killed.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Lauren Frayer covers India for NPR News. In June 2018, she opened a new NPR bureau in India's biggest city, its financial center, and the heart of Bollywood—Mumbai.
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