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Israel and Hamas agree to cease-fire over Gaza conflict

Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday voted to approve a tentative cease-fire after 11 days of fighting with Hamas in Israel and the Gaza Strip, raising hopes that the worst violence in years was nearing an end.

Speaking to the Arabic TV network Al-Mayadeen, a Hamas official said the group “obtained guarantees from the mediators” that Israeli airstrikes on Gaza would be halted, and the cease-fire would begin at 2:00 A.M. Friday local time.

U.S. President Joe Biden, in an address shortly after 6 p.m. ET Thursday, said he was informed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel had agreed to a “mutual, unconditional cease-fire to begin in less than two hours.”

Biden said Egypt informed him that Hamas had also agreed to halt hostilities. He thanked Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the critical role Cairo played in negotiating the truce.

“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and are to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy,” Biden said from the White House.

“My administration will continue our quiet relentless diplomacy toward that end. I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working for it,” he added.

Read more at NBC News

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