Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday afternoon that Israel would take “all necessary measures” against those calling for its destruction and using terror against its citizens.
Netanyahu's conversation with Kerry came just hours after two IDF soldiers were killed, and one feared abducted, during an attack that took place an hour after the US and UN brokered cease-fire went into effect.
Netanyahu said that the terrorist organizations in Gaza would bear responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
Netanyahu called the attack a flagrant violation of the US and UN-brokered cease-fire arrangement.
Secretary Kerry released an official statement condemning today’s "outrageous violation of the ceasefire negotiated over the past several days, and of the assurances given to the United States and the United Nations."
The statement called on Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, "to immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier," and on those with influence over Hamas to "reinforce this message."
Kerry said the international community had to "redouble efforts" to end the attacks by Hamas on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life on both sides of the conflict.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, representing the left-flank of the the eight-person security cabinet, wrote on her Facebook page that the IDF was justifiably now operating on the ground “with the full backing of us all.”
“Hamas has paid, and will yet pay a heavy price,” Livni said. Then, in an obvious reference to the fact that the attack took place after Hamas accepted the US and UN brokered cease-fire, Livni added, “If it was not yet clear enough to everyone, now the world knows who is responsible for the destruction and blood” in Gaza.
Meanwhile, the White House condemned the reported Hamas attack on Israeli soldiers as a violation of the recently instated humanitarian cease-fire.
"That would be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on CNN, and called on Hamas to release the abducted Israeli soldier. Earnest called on Hamas to release the Israeli soldier.
The United States urged the international community to condemn the Hamas cease-fire violation in the "strongest possible terms," Earnest said.
"And we would encourage those who have influence with Hamas to get them back on to the terms of the cease-fire and to get them to abide by the agreements that they struck just yesterday," he said.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations, downplayed the blame on Hamas, telling CNN it was not certain Hamas had carried out the attack or violated the cease-fire.
Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said Hamas terrorists had attacked IDF soldiers an hour and a half after the cease-fire took effect.
"This appears to be an absolutely outrageous action by Hamas, using the cover of a cease-fire to conduct a surprise attack through a tunnel, killing Israeli soldiers and perhaps taking one hostage," Tony Blinken, White House deputy national security adviser, said on MSNBC. "We strongly, strongly condemn it."