Israel and Hamas agree to Gaza cease-fireBy MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
The Associated Press | November 22,2012AP PHOTO
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, right, give a joint news conference announcing a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday.CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group reached a cease-fire agreement Wednesday to end the fiercest round of fighting in nearly four years, promising to halt attacks on each other and ease an Israeli blockade constricting the Gaza Strip.
Egypt’s foreign minister, Mohammed Kamel Amr, said the deal was set to take effect at 9 p.m. local time. Capping days of intense efforts that drew the world’s top diplomats into the fray. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood next to Amr as he announced the breakthrough at a news conference in Cairo.
The agreement will “improve conditions for the people of Gaza and provide security for the people of Israel,” Clinton said. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he agreed to the cease-fire after consulting with President Barack Obama.
Israel launched the fierce Israeli offensive in Gaza last week to stop months of intensifying rocket attacks. Even after the deal was announced, an air-raid siren signaled a rocket attack in southern Israel, while an airstrike could be heard in Gaza.
In the last-minute burst of fire, Palestinian militants fired five rockets into the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. One rocket hit a house inside the city, police said. No injuries were reported.
Israel launched well over 1,500 airstrikes and other attacks on targets in Gaza, while more than 1,000 rockets pounded Israel since the fighting began on Nov. 14. In all, more than 140 Palestinians, including dozens of civilians, were killed, while five Israelis died in the fighting.
According to a copy of the agreement obtained by The Associated Press, Israel and Hamas agreed to an immediate halt in the violence. Israel will end its policy of assassinating top Hamas officials, while Hamas promised to halt all rocket fire by the many militant groups operating in the Gaza Strip.
After a brief cooling off period, Israel pledged to ease its blockade of Gaza, though there were no firm assurances on how that will be done. Israel has maintained the blockade since Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, though it has gradually lifted many of the restrictions.
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas official, said on his Facebook page that talks on a new border arrangement would begin after the 24-hour cooling off period.
Israeli TV channels, citing unidentified Israeli officials, said the details on future arrangements would be handled through an international liaison team.
The deal marked a key victory for Egypt’s new Islamist government, which is caught in a balancing act between its allegiance to Hamas and its need to maintain good relations with Israel and the U.S. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood.MORE IN Wire NewsLOS ANGELES — In 1975, Leonard Nimoy published an autobiography with the defiant title, “I Am Not... Full StoryPANJSHIR VALLEY, Afghanistan — In an endless sea of white, Afghan villagers waited on rooftops... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1843, British Naval officer GEORGE LORD PAULET obtains provisional cession of Hawaiian Islands; 1866, miners claim Calaveras skull found found in goldmine is remains of 5 million-year-old Pliocene man.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown