VIENNA -- Israel demonstrated restraint for hours after Egypt's proposed ceasefire was set to take effect, the United States said on Tuesday, as Israel and Hamas in Gaza resumed attacks on one another this afternoon.
"The Israelis welcomed the ceasefire, the cabinet supported it and as Hamas continued to fire rockets, Israel declined to respond for several hours," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington on Tuesday.As was true yesterday, and the day before, Washington continues to believe that Israel has the right to defend itself, which includes "responding to indiscriminate attacks into their country on civilians," she added.
Kerry and his team have spoken to a host of regional players, Psaki said, in the hopes of de-escalating the situation. The US is still not in direct contact with Hamas, however.
The US and Israel list Hamas as a terrorist organization, while the European Union only considers the party's military wing a terrorist entity.