Israel, Hamas reach truce

 22 Nov 2012 - 6:18


US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton  and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr announcing the truce at a joint press conference in Cairo, yesterday.

CAIRO/GAZA: Israel and the Islamist Hamas movement agreed yesterday to an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire to halt an eight-day conflict around the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

A flurry of explosions shook the city of Gaza as the truce deadline approached and several rockets landed in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr of Egypt, which brokered the ceasefire in days of marathon talks, announced the cessation of hostilities at a joint news conference in Cairo with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The accord calls on Israel to “stop all hostilities... in the land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals” and urges the Palestinian factions to end “rocket attacks and all attacks along the border”. If it holds, within 24 hours, Israel would be required to start implementing procedures to open Gaza’s border crossings and allow the movement of people and goods.

Clinton thanked Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohammed Mursi for his peace efforts, saying his government was assuming “responsibility, leadership” in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Barack Obama he was ready to give the ceasefire a chance, but that “more forceful action” might be needed if it failed, according to a statement from his office.

The ceasefire was forged despite a bus bomb explosion that wounded 15 Israelis in Tel Aviv earlier in the day and despite more Israeli air strikes that killed 10 Gazans. 

CAIRO: Following is the English text of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza that was reached yesterday with Egyptian mediation. The text was distributed by the Egyptian presidency.

Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip

1: (no title given for this section)
A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.
B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.
C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.
D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed. 
2: Implementation mechanisms:
A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.
B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.
C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.