Israel declared a Gaza ceasefire over on Friday, saying Hamas militants breached the truce soon after it came in effect and apparently captured an Israeli officer while killing two other soldiers. The soldier was reportedly 23-year-old Hadar Goldin (pictured above), a second lieutenant from the Kfar Saba area. Renewed Israeli shelling killed more than 50 Palestinians and wounded some 220, hospital officials said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called his security cabinet into special session and publicly warned Hamas and other militant groups they would “bear the consequences of their actions”.
There are no guarantees. This is a difficult, complicated issue, years and years in the building, and I think everybody knows it has not been easy to get to this point.
John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State
The 72-hour break announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was the most ambitious attempt so far to end more than three weeks of fighting, and followed mounting international alarm over a rising Palestinian civilian death toll. The ceasefire, which began at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT), had prompted Palestinian families to trek back to battle-devastated neighbourhoods where rows of homes have been reduced to rubble. It was to be followed by Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Cairo on a longer-term solution.