US Secretary of State John Kerry told the BBC Wednesday that Israel and the Palestinians must take advantage of the Gaza truce, which was holding for its second day, for broader negotiations. He said the US stands “squarely behind Israel’s right to defend itself, period” against rocket attacks and tunnels. Hamas had "behaved in an unbelievably shocking manner, engaging in this activity and, yes, there has been horrible collateral damage as a result," Kerry said. While supporting open crossings for food and reconstruction, he stressed that the lifting of Israel’s blockade must come "with greater Hamas responsibility towards Israel, which means giving up rockets and disarming."