WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday called on Hamas and Palestinian factions to release a captured Israeli soldier as a precondition for resolving tensions between Israel and Palestinians and said efforts would be made to re-establish a ceasefire that has collapsed.
"If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," he told a news conference.
"A ceasefire was one way in which we could stop the killing, to step back and try to resolve some of the underlying issues," Obama said. "Trying to put that back together is going to be challenging, but we will continue to make those efforts." (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Peter Cooney)