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Israel-Hamas Ceasefire: Egypt Announces Peace Deal To Take Effect At 2 P.M. EST

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Image uploaded from a quicklink Israel and the Hamas militant group reached a cease-fire agreement Wednesday to end the fiercest round of fighting in nearly four years, promising to halt attacks on each other and ease an Israeli blockade constricting the Gaza Strip.

Egypt's foreign minister, Mohammed Kamel Amr, said the deal was set to take effect at 9 p.m. local time. (2 p.m. EDT), capping days of intense efforts that drew the world's top diplomats into the fray. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood next to Amr as he announced the breakthrough at a news conference in Cairo.

The agreement will "improve conditions for the people of Gaza and provide security for the people of Israel," Clinton said. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he agreed to the cease-fire after consulting with President Barack Obama.

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