On Friday morning, Israel reported that one of its soldiers had been captured by Palestinian militants using a Hamas tunnel. Later on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry chimed in, asking Turkey and Qatar for their help in securing the soldier's release.
"Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza Strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier, and I call on those with influence over Hamas to reinforce this message," 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."
At a press conference Friday, President Obama also asked Hamas to release the soldier. "If they are serious about resolving the situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," Obama said.
Kerry also denounced Friday's killing of two other Israeli soldiers. He has spoken with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Qatar's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
When he announced the 72-hour cease-fire, Kerry said it was "not a time for congratulations and joy," but "the opportunity to find the solution."