Egypt: Gaza Cease-fire Reached

5:54 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) - Egypt has announced a cease-fire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said the truce would take effect at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT.) He made the announcement alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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.

Earlier, the violence between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers has took on a new dimension.

A bomb exploded aboard a bus near the Israeli military's headquarters in Tel Aviv, wounding 27 people. The blast is the first bombing in Israel's commercial and cultural center since 2006. A tiny militant group has claimed responsibility, but Hamas calls it "a natural response" to Israeli attacks that have killed 144 Palestinians in the past week.

Palestinian rocket fire has killed five Israelis in that time and is continuing today.

Israel carried out 30 airstrikes on Gaza overnight. Targets included government ministries, smuggling tunnels, a banker's empty villa and a Hamas-linked media office.

Meanwhile, some 10,000 Palestinians have fled their homes in Gaza for the shelter of a dozen U.N.-run schools after Israel dropped leaflets urging residents to clear out of certain neighborhoods to avoid being hit by airstrikes. 
 

 

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