UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned on Friday the reported violation by Islamist Hamas militants of a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and demanded the immediate, unconditional release of a captured Israeli soldier.

"He is shocked and profoundly disappointed by these developments," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "The secretary-general is deeply concerned about the resumption of Israeli attacks on Gaza."

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"The secretary-general urges both sides to show maximum restraint and return to the agreed 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that tragically lasted such a brief period of time," Dujarric said.

In a letter to the secretary-general, Ambassador Ron Prosor expressed his outrage on Friday that Hamas had violated a cease-fire agreement for the fifth time and called once again for the UN to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization. "It is time to hold Hamas accountable for its actions," he wrote.

Prosor called for the UN to condemn Hamas' murder of two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping of a third, Hadar Goldin, during the cease-fire and demanded that the Gaza Strip be demilitarized. The ambassador sent an identical copy of the letter to the Security Council's president for the month of August, Mark Lyall Grant.

"It is time for the international community to stop giving Hamas a free pass and see the group for what it is," Prosor said.

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