White House officials condemned the Hamas violation of the cease-fire Friday after being critical of Israel earlier in the week.
“This is an outrageous action and we look to the rest of the world to join us in condemning it,” White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told MSNBC.
Israel and Hamas agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that lasted less than two hours after Hamas attacked Israeli soldiers.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest was even more blunt in an interview with CNN: “And that apparently Hamas individuals used the cover of a humanitarian cease-fire to attack Israeli soldiers and even to take one hostage. That would be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire.”
Earnest made the comment one day after he called the shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza “indefensible.”
Earnest took questions Friday from CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Wolf Blitzer.
“For someone to use a humanitarian cease-fire agreement, that is clearly in the humanitarian interest of innocent civilians on both sides, in order to carry out an attack, is a terrible thing, is worthy of the strongest condemnation of the United States and certainly deserves the strong condemnation of the international community,” Earnest said.
“Let me say, Chris, in no uncertain terms, that that solider who’d been taken hostage should be returned immediately,” Earnest continued. “There should be no mistake that the Israeli soldier should be returned unharmed and immediately.”