The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are trying to determine the exact number of hostages taken in Gaza, with the military’s international spokesman stressing the “complex” nature of the situation, speaking to CNN today, Sunday.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the IDF understands that “dozens” of hostages have been taken in Gaza.

“Because life here is so sacred, we make sure to go out and get the numbers right,” Hecht added.

Hecht said the army would evacuate Israeli communities around Gaza and “do everything we can to minimize collateral damage and evict people who are not involved.”

Hecht told CNN that the IDF’s primary goal is to “stabilize the defense, protect the borders” and “take care of the communities.”

More than 20 Israeli communities near Gaza are being evacuated

More than 20 communities adjacent to the Gaza security fence are being evacuated, the Israeli military said.

Civilians living in these areas are being asked to leave their homes due to the ongoing attacks by Hamas and pending an Israeli response within the enclave.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces told CNN that there will be serious strikes inside Gaza.