Kerry to Hamas: Give Back Kidnapped IDF Soldier 'Immediately and Unconditionally'
Secretary of State John Kerry called on Hamas to "immediately and unconditionally" release an Israel Defense Forces soldier kidnapped in a Palestinian attack that rapidly broke what was supposed to be a 72-hour cease-fire.
"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. It was an outrageous violation of the cease-fire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations," Kerry said in a statement.
"Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message," he continued.
"After the horrific loss of life in this attack and its aftermath, it would be a tragedy if this outrageous attack leads to more suffering and loss of life on both sides of this conflict. I have been in close touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with UN Special Coordinator Robert Serry and with other regional partners. The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life."
The father of captured soldier 2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin, Simha Goldin, says he’s “sure the army will not let up for a moment and will turn over every stone in Gaza to bring back Hadar safe and sound," according to The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu's office said the prime minister spoke with Kerry by phone and assured him "the Palestinians had unilaterally and grossly violated the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked our soldiers after 09:00."
"PM Netanyahu told Secretary Kerry that Hamas and the other terrorist orgs in the Gaza Strip will bear the consequences of their actions and that Israel would take all necessary steps against those who call for our destruction and perpetrate terrorism against our citizens," his office said.
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