"We have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions responsible for killing two soldiers and abducting a third, almost minuted after a cease-fire was announced," US President Barack Obama said on Friday at the White House. 

"I want to make sure they are listening; if they are serious about resolving the situation they must release the soldier, he said, adding, "Israel has a right to defend itself."

The president continued, saying "No country can or would tolerate tunnels being dug under its land to be used to launch terrorist attacks."