Obama calls for release of kidnapped Israeli soldier

U.S. President Obama says Israeli soldier must be released if there's hope of a truce between Israel and Hamas.

By Danielle Haynes

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday called for the release of a soldier Israel Defense Forces said was kidnapped by Hamas after a 72-hour cease-fire was broken.

Obama said he held Hamas responsible for the abduction of 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin.


"I want to make sure they are listening. If they are serious about a cease-fire, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released," Obama told reporters from Washington.

IDF officials said Goldin was abducted about an hour and a half after the start of a three-day cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

A Hamas militant wearing a suicide vest allegedly detonated near a tunnel where Israeli soldiers were station. IDF officials believe Goldin was kidnapped at that time.

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan said Israel made up the abduction story.


"It's clear that the capture of the soldier is an Israeli story; there's nothing from the resistance saying there was a capture," he told CNN.

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