After a deadly eight-day conflict, Israel and Hamas militants agreed to a ceasefire effective Wednesday evening, the Egyptian foreign minister announced at a press conference.
Mohammed Kamel Amr, the foreign minister, made the announcement in Cairo and was flanked by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Egypt is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of international peace,” Clinton said.
The cease-fire agreement was later confirmed by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters reported that the Israeli leader warned in a statement that more forceful action may be employed if the cease-fire deal is unsuccessful.
President Obama called Netanyahu and commended the decision. Obama also reiterated his commitment to Israel’s security. Obama also spoke with Egypt’s president, Mohamed Morsi, and thanked the leader for his efforts in the deal.
Earlier Wednesday, a bomb exploded aboard an Israeli bus near the nation’s military headquarters in Tel Aviv, wounding 27 people and at the time delivering a major blow to diplomatic efforts to forge a truce.
What’s more, a U.N. aid agency reported that some 10,000 Gazans sought shelter in U.N.-run schools after the Israeli military dropped leaflets Tuesday night on the territory warning residents of certain areas to evacuate their homes.
The Israeli military did not give a reason for the warning, but many here fear it is the prelude to a possible ground offensive.
The deal is to end a week of fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.
Source: Fox News