U.S. condemns renewed violence in Israel-Gaza

BY Associated Press  August 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM EST
Israeli border guards clash with Palestinian protesters (unseen) following a demonstration in support of Gaza after Friday prayers at the Hawara checkpoint, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on August 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded targets across Gaza, where two Palestinians were killed and militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel after renewed hostilities ruptured a fledgling three-day truce. AFP PHOTO/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH        (Photo credit should read MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli border guards clash with Palestinian protesters (unseen) following a demonstration in support of Gaza after Friday prayers at the Hawara checkpoint, east of the West Bank city of Nablus, on August 8, 2014. Israeli warplanes pounded targets across Gaza, where two Palestinians were killed and militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel after renewed hostilities ruptured a fledgling three-day truce. AFP PHOTO/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH (Photo credit should read MUSA AL-SHAER/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — The White House is condemning the renewed rocket fire in the conflict between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip and urging both sides to cease hostilities immediately.

Militants in Gaza resumed rocket attacks on Friday and refused to extend a three-day truce. Israel responded with airstrikes. The violence has thrown broader cease-fire talks in Cairo into doubt.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Israel has agreed to extend negotiations but Hamas has refused unless Israel meets their list of demands.

Earnest says Hamas’ decision will put civilians at risk and will do nothing to advance the interests of the Palestinian people.

He says American officials are in Cairo participating in talks to secure a sustainable cease-fire.