A teacher leads chants through a loudspeaker as Palestinians students rally in Bethlehem’s Manger Square to protest Israeli attacks on Gaza, November 20, 2012. Photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org
Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip continued for much of the day (Middle Eastern time) as a ceasefire agreement was announced in Cairo. Earlier today, before the ceasefire agreement, a bus was bombed in Tel Aviv and rocket and mortar attacks continued on Israel.
Both Israel and Hamas have reportedly agreed to a cessation of hostilities. The Associated Press has more details:
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.
“Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.
“All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
“Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
“Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.”
“Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.
“Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
“Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.”
The Palestinian death toll has climbed to 145 according to the Ma’an News agency. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reports that 91 of the dead were civilians, including 28 children. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has also released some of their initial findings about the civilian dead in Gaza. “Initial investigations indicate that at least 40 of those killed were civilians, among them 19 minors, and 10 women,” the human rights group reported. “B’Tselem will continue to investigate the incidents in which civilians have been killed in Gaza, and to review reports coming in even now regarding additional incidents in which civilians have been killed or injured.”
After one week of fighting, the Israeli death toll stood at 5.