News / USA

    Obama: Hamas to Blame for Cease-fire Collapse

    President Barack Obama speaks about lack of action in Congress, Aug. 1, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.
    President Barack Obama speaks about lack of action in Congress, Aug. 1, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.
    VOA News

    U.S. President Barack Obama condemned a reported Hamas attack on Israeli soldiers in Gaza as a violation of the newly reached humanitarian cease-fire and called for the release of an Israeli soldier allegedly held hostage.

    "That soldier needs to be released as soon as possible," he told reporters at an afternoon news conference on Friday at the White House.

    President Obama said he has "unequivocally" condemned Hamas for taking actions against Israeli soldiers that led to to the breaking of short truces this week.

    Israel declared a cease-fire over on Friday hours after it began, saying Hamas militants attacked two Israeli soldiers looking for tunnels in Gaza, killling two and reportedly abducting another one of them.

    "I think it's going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment,"  President Obama said, adding that the U.S. will continue peace brokering efforts.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon had announced the 72-hour cease-fire late Thursday, in a statement Friday decried its “outrageous violation" and called for the missing soldier's immediate release.

    Kerry called upon the international community to "redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life."

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest, speaking on CNN, said the attack posed a "barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement'' and repeated the call for the Israeli soldier's release.

    The United States urged the international community to condemn the Hamas cease-fire violation in the "strongest possible terms,'' Earnest said.

    "And we would encourage those who have influence with Hamas to get them back on to the terms of the cease-fire and to get them to abide by the agreements that they struck just yesterday,'' he added.

    In his statement, Kerry said he already had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau about the next steps in the Gaza crisis. Reuters reported that he has appealed to Qatar and Turkey in particular to help in freeing the soldier. 

    Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations, told CNN it was not certain Hamas had carried out the attack or violated the cease-fire.

    Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said Hamas militants had attacked Israeli soldiers roughly 90 minutes after the cease-fire.

    "This appears to be an absolutely outrageous action by Hamas, using the cover of a cease-fire to conduct a surprise attack through a tunnel, killing Israeli soldiers and perhaps taking one hostage,'' Tony Blinken, White House deputy national security adviser, said on MSNBC. "We strongly, strongly condemn it.''

    You May Like

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Pedido from: West Africa
    August 01, 2014 7:09 PM
    Where were the Israelites before the 1967 war when they fought and took over the area that they must hand back to the asserted owners? If Israelis occupation of the present place is the fulcrum of the age long crises, what was the cause of the original trouble? I hate the way the children of Ishmael disregard human life. But, I realize that the curse in the Bible still trails them. They spread more rapidly than others, which probably contributes to their barbarism.. The deposed Morsi of Egypt sees nothing wrong in the hamas struggle, as he hails them. The Arab world sees no relevance in the survival of those they consider not their own. Why must the entire world worship them? See how they are decimating people around the world, making GOD seem incapable of satisfying them. They claim righteousness by wearing white garments but their heart is a furnace! God created everything for a purpose, even the devil, for the day of trouble! The human world must unite against the shackles of demons.
    In Response

    by: David from: Houston, Texas
    August 02, 2014 8:31 AM
    Pedido: In 1967, the descendants of Ishmael attacked Israel to wipe the Jews into the sea. That was the year I was born. The Israelis overcame the offensive of several vicious countries. That is how they expanded the Israeli borders.

    by: David from: Mccormack
    August 01, 2014 6:36 PM
    Are we surprised? Not at all, these cowards hide behind woman and children while they instigate and antagonize Israelis. These men are not men but cowards who will soon be killed. Israel will clean up these cowards very soon. I cannot even refer to them as soldiers because they are too chicken to wear a uniform to identify themselves but rather hide in the Mosque. The blood of your children and woman is on your own hands.
    In Response

    by: TOPE from: LA
    August 01, 2014 8:28 PM
    Yeah. Of course Israel keeping these people under siege for such a long time and offering them no hope for the future is absolutely right. My friend Israel is on the wrong side of history and that will come to pass in no time. Trust me. Hamas with it's unsophisticated weaponry is plucking down Israeli soldiers like never before and Israel with all its sophisticated weaponry has manged to mainly kill women and children. Who is the barbarian? who is the bullY? and who are the terrorists? The world is catching on to these lies and the same old reasoning. It's only a matter of time now before the whole world turns on Israel. Watch.

    by: Guy Fawkes from: USA
    August 01, 2014 6:06 PM
    No, see, when you agree to a ceasefire and then continue destroying enemy infrastructure, that means YOU broke the ceasefire. What Israel and the US don't seem to grasp is that diplomatic agreements aren't one sided demands for the other side to comply with.

    by: frank john from: canada
    August 01, 2014 4:17 PM
    Obama's looking pretty bad what do you think maybe the jobs to big for him. I think maybe he should have taken a few history lessons
    then he would know a little bit of why all this is happening

    by: frank john from: canada
    August 01, 2014 4:13 PM
    What part of ceasefire do the Israelias not understand .Cease fire means to stop all action shooting and advancing.Strange ceasefire anway when you are running out of amo call a ceasefire so big brother can come to your rescue with more amo
    154057
    In Response

    by: Jack from: Canada
    August 01, 2014 6:43 PM
    The agreement didn't prevent the Israelis from searching tunnels. Hamas is completely at fault here for using an internationally developed cease fire as cover for a surprise attack. The sooner the terrorist organization Hanas is destroyed, the sooner peace can return.

    by: Jim from: USA
    August 01, 2014 4:00 PM
    More Israelis should spend some time in Gaza. That might help promote better mutual understanding.

    by: us from: us
    August 01, 2014 3:45 PM
    Sounds like more propaganda to me--The U.S. has mastered this well.

    by: pirooz from: iran
    August 01, 2014 3:30 PM
    hamas is not isis or other radical islamic militant although israel leaders are very revengeful and try to show hamas a radical militia ,i think hamas is absolutely right to defend palestine since israel occupied their land specially in the west bank territory . israel acting bully against palestine because they dont have army unite to defend them against israel , moreover israel is genociding and the us is its compliance , both must be punished as a war crime against ordinary people . if israel want to hunt hamas why they lunch air strike rather than ground attack . it is very shameful that we hear on media that mr obama not only convict hamas but also resuply israel when many many palestine children killed . even before this war when the 3 israel teens killed there were some deaths of palestine teen deaths that killed by israel soldires but non of american leared paied attention to the tragedy and the israel teens incident probably has been in the revenge of many palestine teens who are died in palestine by israel soldiers for no reason . it is a kind of deal . if u kill me then i have some avenger to kill u and obama must learn this lesson forever
    In Response

    by: Amiller from: Arizona USA
    August 01, 2014 5:30 PM
    The stated goal of Hamas - death of all Jews and conversion or death of all Gentiles. Hamas Minister of the Interior in a speech available on youtube "We are an industry of death... this is something our women and children and elderly excel at. We crave death as you do life..." By their own words Hamas is very much the same as ISIL. Just because they don't repeat the words in English doesn't mean that the world will pretend they weren't said.
    We in America generally take them at their own words (that they say to fellow Arabs, not what they say to Western media).

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 01, 2014 2:17 PM
    If Israel continues to behave like a chicken in fight with Hamas, it is very annoying. What do they expect? When Hamas kidnapped the three Israeli youths that led to the reprisal killing before the conflagration, it denied the deed. Hamas has just one reason for kidnapping any Israeli, soldier or civilian - ransom. When in the last episode it became too hot for Hamas to handle as there was no way it was going to use those three boys to ask for the release of its own militants in Israeli jail, it liquidated them. Once again Hamas is going to toe the same line; it's going to deny the kidnapping of the soldiers by which it has violated a cease fire, incurred widespread condemnation, and Turkey and Qatar are going to advice the liquidation of someone it has taken for POW in cold blood. How Hamas manages to hide its POWs and kidnap victims away in Turkey, Qatar and Iran is the magic anyone is yet to unravel. But if within the three days of the cease fire - violate or not - Hamas does not return the soldier it abducted, then Israel should be granted the freedom to clean out Gaza Strip - any way it wants to do it, and perhaps relocate remaining civilians to the West Bank.

    The UN agencies should try to pull out of Gaza to avoid crying to the world if Israel's or Hamas' bullets stray from their targets and hit the wrong target. Under any guise, the UN itself is running in violation exposing its staff to danger of falling into crossfire, as well as it has failed to sensitize the community so as to evacuate all civilians from the war zone instead of crying to the world about war violations. In war situation, anything can happen. It is only necessary for those not involved to do the right thing - evacuate - and save lives. Unless those claiming to be UN agency workers are themselves die hard fundamentalist agents posing as humanitarian workers.

    by: AndyfromChicago from: Chicago, USA
    August 01, 2014 2:13 PM
    Hamas' use of a cease-fire as cover to engage in a surprise attack and take hostages makes any further cease-fires meaningless. Israel should disregard any further calls for cease-fires and finish disarming the Gaza Strip.

    The Gazan people need to get their act together. They must reject a Hamas-led government that calls the destruction of Israel, and stop supporting terrorists who hide behind them to shoot rockets at civilians. Until then, this dispute cannot be resolved peacefully. Of course, these would be many of the same Palestinians I remember watching as they danced in the streets with joy on 9/11/01.

    The continued loss of civilian life is horrific, and we are civilized enough that it does not make us want to dance. However, the first duty of any government - including Israel - is to protect its citizens from external attack. If Hamas cannot or will not participate in a meaningful political settlement, and if the Gazans continue to let Hamas operate among them, then Israel must resolve the dispute militarily.

    Consider how we would react if some quasi-governmental terrorist group in a Cuban city started shooting missiles at Miami and refused to stop. The U.S. Air Force would immediately airstrike those responsible and bomb them into dust.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.