Obama to Hamas: “Let the Israeli soldier go.”

Israeli soldiers battle Hamas in Gaza as cease-fire ends after less than two hours this morning.
Israeli soldiers battle Hamas in Gaza as cease-fire ends after less than two hours this morning.

Multiple media outlets and the United Nations observers have reported that early today an Israeli soldier was captured near Rafah, after a suicide bomber attacked an IDF force outside a Hamas terror tunnel. The attack took the lives two Israeli soldiers.

Second Lt. Hadar Goldin, 23, of Kfar Saba, was named as the soldier presumed to be captured by Hamas. The two killed were named today as Major Benaya Sarel, 26, from Kiryat Arba, and First Sgt. Liel Gidoni, 20, from Jerusalem

According to Associated Press – The Obama administration this morning condemned violations of the internationally-brokered Gaza cease-fire by Palestinian militants and said the apparent abduction of an Israeli soldier would be a “barbaric” and “absolutely outrageous” action.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said if the soldier was, in fact, kidnapped by Hamas militants, he must be released.

 “There are reports that Hamas used the cover of a humanitarian cease-fire to attack Israeli soldiers and apparently to take one hostage,” Earnest told The Associated Press. “That would be a barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement. We … call on the international community to condemn this violation of the case-fire agreement and we urge those with influence over Hamas to exercise that influence to get Hamas to return the soldier that has been taken hostage and to live up to the agreements that were made just yesterday.”

“We’re troubled by these reports and what appears to be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement,” he said. “There’s no doubt that that soldier should be returned unharmed and immediately.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also asked Hamas to release the soldier. He is Turkey still attempting work on another cease-fire plan.

Earlier this morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Kerry. The Prime Minister told him that Hamas ‘will pay for this breach of conduct.’

“Israel will take all necessary actions against those who call for its destruction and carry out terror attacks against its citizens,” Netanyahu reportedly told Kerry. This report came via the Prime Ministers office.

Al Jazeera confirmed the capture of an Israeli soldier and also the deaths of at  least 50 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling.

This is a fast moving story and I would suggest that you follow the live blogs on i24 News and  Al Jazeera America where you will get the latest news from two different perspectives.

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.