Amidst an internationally brokered Gaza ceasefire, it seems that Palestinian militants have abducted an Israeli soldier. In light of these new events, the Obama administration has expressed their disapproval, condemning the clear violation of this ceasefire and describing the actions of Palestinian militants as “barbaric”.
John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of state said that these attacks that resulted in the death of two Israeli soldiers and the abduction of another were “outrageous”. He added that such an attitude shows contempt towards the efforts that the United States and United Nations have put into brokering a truce between Israel and Palestine. The Secretary of State demanded that Hamas leaders immediately order the unconditional release of the Israeli soldier that has been allegedly captured. In a statement released by the State Department, as he was flying back to the States from an official trip to India, Kerry affirmed that the United States are condemning today’s events in the strongest possible manner.
Ban Ki-Moon, U.N. Secretary-General has also supported the demand made by the U.S. and urged for the release of the Israeli soldier. He also added that both sides should show restraint and adhere to the agreed –upon 72 hour ceasefire that only lasted so little, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
On the other hand, a Hamas spokeswoman explained that the attack was being used as a cover-up for a massacre, neither denying nor confirming that the soldier had indeed been captured.
According to Margaret Brennan, CBS News correspondent, the State Department has assured the public that Kerry will continue to work on saving the ceasefire that has been so difficultly obtained. However, U.S. diplomats have accepted that in spite of what happens at the negotiating table, events that are happening on the ground will overshadow diplomatic efforts at least for the time being.
On Friday morning, Israeli attacks on Gaza resumed and resulted in the deaths of 70 Palestinians. Dujarric explained that such actions are completely against the reasons for which a ceasefire had been proposed: to allow Gazan civilians especially to attend to their injured and retrieve the bodies of victims. Instead, a renewed escalation is occurring.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah also condemned the situation, stating that all these attacks are happening while the international community is silently watching the massacre. According to him, in spite of so many human rights organizations and institutions, the world is simply watching the war and that such a silence is unjustifiable.