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November 21, 2012 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON -- President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to commend him for accepting an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Hamas, the White House said in a statement. It noted that Obama had urged Netanyahu to accept the deal. Obama also reiterated the U.S. commitment to Israel's security, and promised to expand spending on joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs. The American-financed Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted most of the Palestinian rockets aimed at heavily populated areas of Israel and has been hailed as a success story of the eight-day conflict.
November 21, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
Egypt announced a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas effective Wednesday evening local time, the Associated Press reported. In details of the agreement obtained by the news agency, Israel will cease all military activity against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip at 9 p.m. local time (11 a.m. PST) and Palestinian militants will cease rocket attacks into Israel. After 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel will be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people.
November 21, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif
CAIRO -- Hamas and Israel agreed to a cease-fire that took effect Wednesday evening following a week of intense diplomacy to stop rocket fire and airstrikes that have pounded the Gaza Strip and Israel and raised fears of plunging the region into a wider war. The truce began at 9 p.m. local time and appeared at least initially to be taking hold. The deal was announced in Cairo by Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who flew to the region Tuesday night as hopes for a truce remained elusive amid heavy artillery exchanges.
November 21, 2012 | Carol J. Williams
A weeklong battle between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip has turned the political kaleidoscope, shaking up and repositioning diplomatic forces tackling the Middle East's myriad conflicts. The broad alliance contending with the civil war in Syria has divided over who's to blame for the latest Israeli-Palestinian clash. Egypt, no longer moving in lockstep with Washington after last year's ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, is walking a fine line between defense of fellow Islamists in Hamas and commitment to the Arab-Israeli peace treaty.
November 21, 2012
Re "Strike adds urgency to Gaza talks," Nov. 19 To say Israel is defending itself against the Palestinians is turning the sequence of events on its head. Hamas and Israel had been observing a cease-fire, and no rockets were being fired on Israel. It was only a few days before the signing of the truce that a 13-year-old Gazan boy was reportedly killed by Israeli forces. Following the child's death, Israel assassinated a military leader of Hamas. President Obama stands alone in the world saying Israel has launched this attack to defend itself.
November 21, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
GAZA CITY - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed for an end to rocket attacks on Israel and a durable regional peace as she arrived in the Middle East to join efforts to end a week of fighting between Israel and the Islamist militant group Hamas. An agreement appeared close late Tuesday but proved elusive, and in the meantime violence continued. Hamas fired two more rockets toward Jerusalem but caused no damage or injuries. But rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip killed an Israeli soldier and a Bedouin resident in southern Israel, increasing the Israeli death toll to five.
November 21, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders
GAZA CITY -- A bomb attack on a Tel Aviv public bus Wednesday injured at least 21 people -- three seriously -- shattering the sense of security in Israel's second-largest city and raising questions about the fate of cease-fire talks underway to end the violence in the Gaza Strip. The noon-time attack took place on a bus on a busy downtown street. Early reports from witnesses said a man was seen running toward the bus, throwing a bag inside and running away. Israel police launched a massive manhunt and raised security levels nationwide, fearing additional attacks might take place.
November 21, 2012 | By Uri Resnick
Aeschylus said that "in war, truth is the first casualty. " Daud Kuttab has apparently taken this somewhat coy aphorism too literally, writing a Times Op-Ed article ("Israel's failed strategy," Nov. 20) so filled with manipulative argumentation that it wouldn't normally merit serious rebuttal, had it not appeared in this newspaper. Kuttab argues that Israel embraces a "theory of deterrence" with respect to the Gaza Strip. What he fails to point out is that Israel vacated Gaza completely in August 2005, uprooting thousands of Israelis from their homes in the process.
November 20, 2012 | Edmund Sanders
As negotiators worked on a tenuous cease-fire deal, Israel and Hamas pounded each other for a sixth day and anger rose in the Gaza Strip over the increasing number of casualties. Hopes for a truce grew Monday night when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened Cabinet members to discuss the details of what was said to be a multiphase, multiyear cease-fire agreement. Officials in Egypt, where the talks were underway, expressed cautious optimism. Arab League leaders and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was visiting the region, were trying to help negotiate a deal.
November 20, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders
GAZA CITY -- As Hamas continued its attacks against Israel on Tuesday with two rockets targeted at Jerusalem, Israeli and Egyptian officials signaled that a cease-fire agreement may be close. Hamas officials claimed responsibility for the strikes, saying they used one of their new homemade M-75 rockets. As occurred last week, the rockets landed in the Gush Etzion area of the West Bank, south of Jerusalem. No damage or injuries were reported. Attacks by Palestinian militants against Jerusalem previously were rare because the city is home to many Arab residents and some of the world's most sacred religious and historical sites, including those of Islam.
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