Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's planned visit to the Middle East today was enough to force Egypt into pressuring Hamas into a truce with Israel. According to Reuters, Egypt brokered a deal that would stop the fighting just hours before Israel planned a ground invasion into Gaza. Naturally although a truce has been reached, the Muslim Brotherhood's President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi blamed Israel for the violence in statements about the agreement.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in the Gaza conflict will go into effect later on Tuesday, a Hamas official said.
There was no immediate Israeli comment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier he was open to a long-term deal to halt Palestinian rocket attacks on his country.
"An agreement for calm has been reached. It will be declared at 9 o'clock (1900 GMT) and go into effect at midnight (2200 GMT)," Hamas official Ayman Taha told Reuters from Cairo, where efforts have been under way to end seven days of hostilities.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was heading to the region from Asia and was expected in Jerusalem late on Tuesday for talks with Netanyahu on Wednesday.
Earlier, Egypt's state media quoted Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi as announcing "that the farce of Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip will end on Tuesday"
Mursi said, according to the reports, that "efforts to conclude a truce between the Palestinian and Israeli sides will produce positive results in the next few hours".
We'll see if Hamas actually does what they say they will, notice how Israel is being cautious. If they do, this agreement will likely be temporary with Hamas eventually continuing their barrage of rockets against Israel.
UPDATE: No deal?
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told CNN, however, that a ceasefire deal has not been finalized and the “ball is still in play.”
“Until you’re there, you’re not there,” he said.
Shortly before Regev’s statement, a Hamas official said a deal had been reached during talks brokered by Egypt.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would be a “willing partner” in a ceasefire, but of course, that ceasefire would have to have safeguards in place ensuring that Israeli citizens do not come under fire by Hamas one or two weeks following a potential truce.
Netanyahu said that “if a long-term solution can be put in place by diplomatic means, Israel will be a willing partner.”
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