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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 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.
November 20, 2012 | By Maher Abukhater and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
RAMALLAH, West Bank - The hostilities in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas have raised sympathy among many Palestinians for the Islamist militant group and elevated its status at the expense of the rival Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, observers say. Abbas, who views himself as the leader of all Palestinians, has been sidelined as Hamas has taken center stage in the struggle against Israel and received a string of...
November 20, 2012 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Reem Abdellatif, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - The Gaza conflict has pressured Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on many fronts: Each rocket Hamas fired into Israel has been a test of Morsi's loyalty. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also been gauging how much damage he can inflict on Hamas before Morsi responds with more than public statements and diplomacy. And the United States and the West, the source of billions of dollars in aid and possible investment that Egypt desperately needs, are watching to see whether the Egyptian president emerges as a formidable and trusted regional voice.
November 19, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
GAZA CITY - As tenuous cease-fire talks in Cairo continued, Israel and the Islamist group Hamas pounded one another Monday in the sixth day of clashes that have killed more than 100 Palestinians and three Israelis. Chances for a truce were unclear given the ongoing hostilities, but negotiators for both sides remained in Egypt as the details of what is said to be a multiphase, multiyear cease-fire agreement are hammered out. Israelis officials are seeking assurance from Egypt that Hamas will halt rocket fire into their nation and not be allowed to rebuild the weapon caches that the Israeli military has destroyed in recent days.
November 19, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
GAZA CITY — An Israeli airstrike Sunday killed at least nine members of the same family — mostly women and children — in the deadliest single attack and worst civilian tragedy since the fighting in the Gaza Strip began last week. Though Israel has expressed pride over its five-day military campaign for limiting civilian casualties, the strike against the Dalu home in Gaza City was likely to test the limits of international support it has received in the battle to stop militants from firing rockets at Israeli cities.
November 19, 2012 | By Sara Lessley
As the missiles and rockets fly in the Middle East, so does the war of words in Los Angeles.  As Times reporter Edmund Sanders wrote Sunday: “The conflicting views of ordinary Palestinians summed up the calculation now facing Hamas, the Islamist group that has been struggling for five years to find a balance between its roots as a resistance army and its responsibility for governing the Gaza Strip. The fourth day of violence Saturday left civilians on both sides digging out of the rubble.
November 18, 2012 | By Edmund Sanders
GAZA CITY - Overnight hopes for an Egyptian-negotiated cease-fire faded Sunday as clashes resumed between Israel and Hamas and several Palestinian journalists were injured by Israeli airstrikes. After expressing optimism that a truce was imminent, Gaza militants temporarily suspended their rocket fire Saturday night and early Sunday morning, even as Israeli aircraft continued to hit targets in Gaza. Israel military confirmed there were no rocket attacks in southern Israel overnight.
November 18, 2012 | By Kathleen Hennessey
BANGKOK, Thailand -- President Obama landed in Thailand on Sunday to tout his vision of “pivoting” U.S. attention and resources to Asia. But he quickly ran into the challenge faced by his predecessors -- no American president can turn away from the Mideast. As he arrived for the first stop of a three-country, three-day hopscotch through Southeast Asia, Obama's attention was drawn to the continuing violence between Israelis and Hamas. White House aides noted the president was in regular contact with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu, as well as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and other leaders in position to pressure Hamas, all in an effort to defuse what appeared to be an escalating back-and-forth of airstrikes and rocket attacks that had killed more than 40 people.
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