Israel and Hamas Agree to End a Brief War That Reverberated Worldwide


JERUSALEM — After more than 10 days of fighting that has taken hundreds of lives and inspired protests and diplomatic efforts around the world, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire on Thursday, officials on both sides said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that his security cabinet had voted unanimously to accept an Egyptian proposal for an unconditional cease-fire, which took effect early Friday morning.

A senior Hamas official based in Qatar confirmed in a telephone interview that the group had agreed to the truce.

The agreement, mediated by Egypt, is expected to conclude an intensive exchange in which Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, fired rockets into Israel and Israel bombed targets in Gaza.

The Israeli aerial and artillery campaign has killed more than 230 people in Gaza, many of them civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and badly damaged the impoverished territory’s infrastructure, including the fresh water and sewer systems, the electrical grid, hospitals, schools and roads.

The primary target has been Hamas’s extensive network of tunnels for moving fighters and munitions. Israel has also sought to kill Hamas leaders and fighters.

Hamas and its allies in Gaza have fired more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns, killing 12 people, mostly civilians, Israeli officials said.

But even as the near-simultaneous announcements were made late Thursday, sirens sounded in Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip, indicating that militants were continuing to fire rockets.


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