SEAFORD - A temporary cease-fire halted fighting for several hours Saturday after nearly three weeks of heavy conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas militants.

The initial 12-hour truce was the product of non-stop negotiations brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel offered to extend the cease-fire, but Hamas rejected the extension and resumed firing rockets at Israel.

Rep. Peter King (R – Seaford) told News 12 that the U.S. needs to help find a permanent solution.

"A cease-fire serves a short-term humanitarian purpose, but it’s only important in the long run if there’s going to be an assurance of any kind of agreement that Hamas is going to destroy its tunnels," King told News 12. “The longer the cease-fire there is, the more difficult it becomes for Israel to maintain its momentum.”

Rep. King says that a temporary cease-fire could have benefitted Hamas, who he says may have used the time to consolidate its position.

As the fighting stalled, Secretary Kerry met with his international counterparts in Paris with the goal of finding a way to get both sides of the conflict to agree to a more permanent cease-fire.

Rep. King says he hopes Kerry's efforts will be successful on all fronts.