WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday strongly condemned the killing of two Israeli soldiers and kidnapping of another by Palestinian militants and blamed Hamas for violating a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier. He urged the international community to step up efforts to end the attacks against Israel.
"I have been in close touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with U.N. Special Coordinator Robert Serry and with other regional partners," Kerry said in a statement. "The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life." (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Doina Chiacu)