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TEL AVIV, Israel — In a text message to reporters on Friday, a spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that “around 1,200” is now what he called “the official number of people” killed by Hamas militants on October 7. That’s about 200 fewer casualties than Israel had been citing for more than a month.
“This is not a final figure. It is an updated estimate,” wrote Lior Haiat, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He added that the toll could still change again.
Israeli media quoted unnamed officials as saying that some remains were initially misidentified. Many of the bodies were burned and mutilated that day and the process of identifying them is still ongoing.
The number of hostages being held in Gaza remains at around 240.
The October 7 attacks and the high number of casualties prompted Israel to launch air and ground attacks on Gaza, where Palestinian health officials say more than 11,000 people have been killed.