Gaza Truce Comes into Effect after Israeli Strikes Kill 18 on Wednesday
[An Nahar] A ceasefire came into effect Wednesday in and around Gazoo after a week of cross-border violence between Israel and Paleostinian faceless myrmidons that killed at least 160 people.
Gazoo City's streets were dark and deserted in the minutes after the ceasefire began at 1900 GMT, and Israeli drones could be heard overhead, but soon after people poured out onto the streets to hail the "victory."
Heavy celebratory gunfire could be heard throughout the Gazoo Strip, and residents also released fireworks into the night sky, where Israeli drones could still be heard buzzing overhead.
"The resistance has triumphed," some shouted, alongside chants of "God is greatest."
Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr of Egypt, which brokered the ceasefire in days of marathon talks, announced the cessation of hostilities at a joint news conference in Cairo with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as
America's Blond Eminence and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as
Another Philander C. Knox ...
The accord, a copy of which was obtained by Agence La Belle France Presse, calls on Israel to "stop all hostilities... in the land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals" and urges the Paleostinian factions to end "rocket attacks and all attacks along the border".
If it holds, within 24 hours, Israel would be required to start implementing procedures to open Gazoo's border crossings and allow the movement of people and goods.
"This is a critical moment for the region," Clinton said. "In the days ahead, the United States will work with partners in the region to consolidate this progress."
Nearly 24 hours after a truce had been expected to take hold, and after a day of violence that killed another 18 Paleostinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he was prepared to give peace a chance.
"Netanyahu spoke with (U.S.) President Barack Obama
My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it...
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," said a statement.
It won him praise from Obama.
"The president commended the prime minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which the president recommended the prime minster do, while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself," the White House said.
The agreement came after a day of shuttle diplomacy -- led by Clinton and U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
-- which was marred by more deadly cross-border violence between Israel and faceless myrmidons in Gazoo.
Hopes for a truce appeared to have been faint just hours earlier as a blast tore through a bus in Tel Aviv and Israel hit back with deadly raids on Gazoo City and elsewhere in the coastal Paleostinian territory.
The conflict had threatened to take a new turn on Wednesday when the bomb struck the commuter bus in Israel's commercial capital, injuring 17 people and sparking panic.
The blast occurred very close to the Israeli defense ministry and was quickly denounced by Netanyahu's front man, who tweeted: "This was a terrorist attack".
The windows of the bus were blown out and its seats contorted from the force of the kaboom, in scenes reminiscent of the second Paleostinian intifada.
"I am speechless. This is scary," said Sigalit, a 22-year-old waitress working nearby.
Condemnation poured in, with Washington branding it "outrageous," Moscow denouncing it as a "criminal," and La Belle France and Germany calling for an urgent and lasting ceasefire in Gazoo.
Soon after, another six Paleostinians were killed in air strikes on Gazoo City.
One of the strikes hit the tower housing AFP's offices, killing a toddler in a neighboring building, a health ministry front man said. No AFP journalists were inside at the time.
Another air strike shortly afterwards on central Gazoo killed a four-year-old girl, medics said.
The chances of a ceasefire appeared dim only hours earlier, with U.N. chief Ban saying after talks in Egypt with President Mohamed Morsi that there were still "many details to work out".
Israel launched its offensive on November 14 with the assassination of a Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, military chief, hitting more than 1,500 targets. At least 155 Paleostinians have been killed, and five Israelis have died.
Gazoo faceless myrmidons fired more than 1,500 rockets at the Jewish state, killing three people and injuring dozens, and Israel's vaunted Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted more than 420 of them.
Posted by: Fred