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Nov 22, 2012, 10.47 AM IST | Source: PTI

Israel, Hamas agree on Gaza ceasefire

Israel, Hamas agree on Gaza ceasefire

Cairo, Nov 21 (PTI) Israel and Palestinian group Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, today agreed on a ceasefire to end a week-long violence in which at least 150 people have been killed. Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr announced the ceasefire at a news conference here with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who joined negotiations. Israel has accepted the deal, according to a statement released from the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. For the truce to hold, "the rocket attacks [from Gaza] must end and a broader calm must return," Clinton said. Israel launched its current offensive a week ago with the killing of Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari. Kamel has announced that a "ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip will come into effect at 19:00 GMT (12:30 IST)." "The United States welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire. In the days ahead, the US will work with partners in the region to consolidate this progress," Clinton said. Israeli sources said Israel had agreed to the truce but would not lift its blockade on the Palestinian territory, a condition earlier set by Hamas, Al-Jazeera reported. Earlier, Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continued for an eighth day today as diplomatic efforts were under way to secure a ceasefire. At least a dozen people were killed in Gaza today, according to medical officials, bringing the death toll to a total of 150 since Israel's military operation was launched. Israel said it struck more than 100 targets, including a cluster of Hamas government buildings. (MORE) PTI NSA LKJ NSA

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