MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - US President Barack Obama called for an immediate ceasefire on both sides of the Gaza Strip conflict as he spoke on the phone with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, the White House said in a statement.
"The President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement," the White House said in the statement.
Obama also condemned rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel by the rebels of the Hamas movement and "reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself," said in the statement.
Hamas was reported to have agreed to a new 24-hour ceasefire with the Israeli army until 2:00 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) on Monday, but Netanyahu told CNN hours later that Hamas violated its own the ceasefire.
After a 12-hour humanitarian pause on Saturday, Israel decided to extend the ceasefire until the end of Sunday at the UN request. The truce was called off after the Palestinian militants refused to maintain the truce and fired rockets at Israel.
More than 1,000 Palestinians have died in the ongoing military operation launched by Israel early July against Hamas and its allied militant groups. According to recent estimates, the Israeli side has lost more than 40 soldiers and three civilians.