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Israel, Hamas Agree to Gaza Cease-Fire After Egypt Talks

Israel, Hamas Agree to Gaza Cease-Fire After Egypt Talks
By Mariam Fam, Jonathan Ferziger and Calev Ben-David
November 21, 2012 3:55 PM EST

Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to bring to an end more than a week of air strikes and missile attacks, after talks brokered by Egypt’s Islamist leaders and the U.S.
If it holds, the cease-fire will give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for a third term in January, the tangible success of stopping Hamas rockets targeting Israeli civilians. Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal portrayed the outcome as a “victory for all Palestinians” by forcing Israel into talks to ease the controls on border crossings into the Gaza Strip.

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The agreement aims to halt air strikes that have left more than 150 people dead in Gaza and rocket attacks that have killed five Israelis, according to officials. Israel has hit more than 1,500 targets, and Palestinians launched more than 1,400 missiles. Hamas, which rules Gaza, is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the U.S. and European Union.
The accord officially came into effect at 9 p.m. local time today after Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced it earlier at a news conference in Cairo.
Palestinians celebrated on the streets in Gaza City.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) extended its longest rally in seven weeks, while Treasuries fell for a third day and oil trimmed earlier gains as Israel and Hamas agreed to the cease- fire.
Clinton said that she welcomed the accord and expressed hope it will “move us closer to a comprehensive peace.”
“In the days ahead, the United States will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, and provide security for the people of Israel,” she said.


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