- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2014

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the Friday attack that killed two Israeli soldiers and led to the apparent capture of a third, saying it was an “outrageous violation of the cease-fire” negotiated in recent days.

Mr. Kerry, who has faced criticism for his ability to negotiate peace during the violent standoff between Israeli and Palestinian forces, pointed the finger at extremist group Hamas.

“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 said.

Mr. Kerry also warned of further bloodshed in the wake of the abrupt end to a humanitarian cease-fire that was supposed to be in effect, and said he has been in contact with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others in the region.

“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,” he said.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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