According to John Kerry, international efforts to secure a truce between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza must lead to the disarmament of the democratically elected Hamas party.The US Secretary of State departed from the Middle East, Sunday, after week-long discussions held there over possible means to ending the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, telling reporters that he was continuing to work ‘toward establishing an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire.’

According to Ma’an News Agency, Kerry said that such a truce ‘…could honor Eid which begins now and that will stop the fighting, allow desperately needed food and medicine and other supplies into Gaza…’, while reiterating the narrative of cross-border tunnels made by Palestinian resistance as an imposed security threat to the Israeli state.

‘We believe the momentum generated by a humanitarian ceasefire is the best way to be able to begin to negotiate and find out if you can put in place a sustainable ceasefire on that addresses all of the concerns,’ he stated, adding:

‘We also believe that any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza in a lasting and meaningful way must lead to the disarmament of Hamas and all terrorist groups.’

Israel’s devastating assault on the region is now in its third week, with over a thousand killed — mostly civilians, including infants, elderly and disabled — and over 6,000 injured.

The Israeli army has reported, so far, 43 military casualites on their part, in addition to 3 civilian deaths as a result of Hamas rocket fire.

See: Israeli officials Mock Kerry Ceasefire Proposal; Reject any Long-Term Truce