WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials called Hamas’ apparent capture of an Israeli soldier in the hours a cease-fire was supposed to be in effect “barbaric” and “outrageous.”
“That would be a rather barbaric violation of the cease-fire agreement,” Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, told CNN on Friday, referring to the apparent capture Friday morning of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin in a firefight Israel says took place in the southern Gaza Strip hours after a humanitarian cease-fire was in place.
“This is an outrageous action and we look to the rest of the world to join us in condemning it,” Tony Blinken, a deputy national security adviser, told MSNBC.
Hamas has yet to confirm that it captured Goldin, 23, a Givati soldier from Kfar Saba. Two other Israeli soldiers were killed in the firefight.
Robert Serry, the U.N. official who led efforts to broker the cease-fire, urged the Palestinian side to reaffirm its commitment to the cease-fire in the wake of Goldin’s reported capture.
“If corroborated, this would constitute a serious violation of the humanitarian cease-fire,” Serry said in a statement.