Reaching another Gaza cease-fire will be hard, Obama says - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Reaching another Gaza cease-fire will be hard, Obama says

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President Obama also said Russia would face more consequences for continued involvement in Ukraine. (Source: FOX) President Obama also said Russia would face more consequences for continued involvement in Ukraine. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX) - President Barack Obama on Friday condemned violations of the internationally-brokered Gaza cease-fire.

Israel and Hamas accused each other of breaking the cease-fire, which had been announced by the United States and the United Nations.

Speaking in Washington, Obama also called for the unconditional release of an Israeli soldier apparently captured by Hamas militants.

Obama and other U.S. officials did not directly blame the militant Hamas movement for the abduction, but they made clear they hold Hamas responsible for, or having influence over, the actions of all factions in Gaza.

"If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible," Obama told reporters at the White House.

At the same time, he repeated calls for Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties.

The president said putting the cease-fire back together would be difficult.

"It's going to be hard to get there. I think that there's a lot of anger and there's a lot of despair. And that's a volatile mix. But we have to keep trying," he said.

Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, Obama said the U.S. was limited in what it can do to deter Russia's actions in Ukraine.

He warned Russia faced consequences if it continued to arm separatists in eastern Ukraine.

"But, if you look at for example Ukraine, we have made progress in delivering on what we said we would do. We can't control how Mr. Putin thinks but what we can do is say to Mr. Putin, if you continue on the path of arming separatists with heavy armaments that evidence suggests may have resulted in 300 innocent people on a jet dying, and that violates international law and undermines the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, then you are going to face consequences," Obama said.

Obama also acknowledged the United States tortured al-Qaida detainees captured after the September 11, 2001 attacks in some of his most expansive comments to date about a controversial set of CIA practices that he banned after taking office.

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