Via NBC News:
Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Wednesday, ending eight days of fighting that killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.
“The United States welcomes the agreement today for the cease-fire in Gaza,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a news conference alongside Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr. ”This is a critical moment for the region.”
The cease-fire started at 9 p.m. Cairo time (2 p.m. ET). Hundreds took to the streets of Gaza City to celebrate the cease-fire, NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin reported. Celebratory gun fire erupted across the city, whose streets gradually filled with crowds waving Palestinian flags. Ululating women leaned out of windows and fireworks lit up the sky.
“Allahu akbar, (God is greatest), dear people of Gaza you won,” blared mosque loudspeakers in the enclave as the truce took effect. “You have broken the arrogance of the Jews.”
Both sides fought right up to 9 p.m., when hostilities were due to stop, with several explosions shaking Gaza City and rockets hitting the Israeli city of Beersheba.
Even after the deadline passed, a dozen rockets from Gaza landed in Israel, all in open areas, a police spokesman said.
During the Cairo news conference, Clinton thanked Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi for his mediation efforts and pledged to work with partners in the region “to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel.”
In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed the agreement, adding that he had spoken with President Barack Obama and had agreed to fight together against “weapons of terror.”
“Israel cannot sit with its arms folded against its enemies,” he said in a news conference.
Hopefully we will have something to be thankful for.