U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemns what he calls the ''brazen'' firing of rockets by Hamas, after goodwill efforts to secure a ceasefire. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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STORY: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned on Tuesday , what he called the "brazen" firing of rockets by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip.
"I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets, in multiple numbers, in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire," Kerry told reporters in Vienna.
Hamas militants fired volleys of rockets from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, drawing a threat by Israel to abandon an Egyptian-proposed truce it had unilaterally accepted.
Israel said earlier in the day it had ceased fire under the plan to end a week of cross-border hostilities, while a top Hamas official in Cairo said the Islamist movement was still considering it.
But Hamas' armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, rejected the ceasefire, saying its battle with Israel would "increase in ferocity and intensity".
Kerry said United States would give Egypt's offer an opportunity.
Under the blueprint announced by Egypt - Gaza's neighbor and whose military-backed government has been at odds with Hamas - a mutual "de-escalation" of fighting was to begin at 9 a.m. (0600 GMT), with hostilities ceasing within 12 hours.