Egypt’s foreign minister has announced that a ceasefire in Gaza will begin at 19:00 GMT Wednesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that a deal had been reached.
“A short while ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with [US] President Barack Obama and agreed to his recommendation to give a chance to an Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and thereby give an opportunity for the stabilization of the situation and a calming of it,” the Netanyahu office’s statement reads.
Earlier, Israeli sources said the siege of Gaza will not be lifted despite the truce, Al Jazeera reported.
The announcement comes after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN chief Ban Ki-Moon traveled to Cairo on Wednesday to push for a ceasefire as the conflict entered its eighth day.
Clinton met with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and later with Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr. The UN Secretary-General also met with Morsi.
Rumors about an imminent truce have been circulating in the media for a while.
On Tuesday, Hamas official Ayman Taha announced that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire was to be declared in Gaza at 19:00 GMT and would go into effect at 22:00 GMT the same night. Shortly after the announcement, Israel said a ceasefire deal was yet to be finalized.
Also on Tuesday, Morsi expressed certainty that Gaza and Israel would shortly reach a ceasefire, but did not elaborate on the matter.