Israel, Palestine agree to Gaza ceasefire

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 2:03:02 by

Following a deadly eight-day conflict, Israel and Gaza agreed to a ceasefire effective Wednesday evening, the Egyptian foreign minister announced at a press conference. The cease-fire agreement was later confirmed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


The cease-fire is set to start at 9 p.m. Cairo time, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced at a press conference alongside U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


“The United States welcomes the agreement today for the cease-fire in Gaza,” Clinton said. “These efforts have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen,” Amr said.


Israeli air strikes have continued to shake Gaza and a bomb exploded on a Tel Aviv bus, even as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brokered the fresh ceasefire.


Israel has accepted the deal, according to a statement released from the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He consulted with US President Barack Obama before agreeing to the ceasefire.


Netanyahu accepted Obama’s “suggestion to give a chance to Egypt’s proposal for a ceasefire and so give an opportunity to stabilize the situation and calm it before there will be need to apply greater force”.


In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the deal, saying he had agreed after consulting with President Barack Obama. The deal is to end a week of fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.


First word of the truce came from a Palestinian official who has knowledge of the negotiations in Cairo, where US secretary of state Hillary Clinton was also pursuing peace efforts.


Israel launched its current offensive a week ago with the killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. It is understood that while Israel has agreed to a truce, it will not lift its controversial blockade of the Gaza Strip.

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