Hamas and Israel today reached a long-term ceasefire agreement to end the seven weeks of fighting in Gaza that has left nearly 2,200 people dead. The truce began at 7pm local time (noon ET).
The agreement was reached through indirect talks with the Egyptian government. While discussions concerning Hamas's demand for a seaport and airport will begin in a month, Hamas officials have said that Israel agreed to lift its blockade of Gaza as part of the agreement.
An Israeli official told the BBC: "Israel accepts the Egyptian initiative for an unlimited ceasefire in Gaza. The proposal does not include Hamas demands regarding a port, an airport, prisoners, and funds. The sides will discuss their demands through Egypt within a month."
Hamas described the ceasefire as a "victory" and residents celebrated in the Gaza Strip.
"We are here today to declare the victory of the resistance, the victory of Gaza, with the help of God, and the steadfastness of our people and the noble resistance," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri at a press conference in Gaza.
Following the announcement, Gazans released celebratory gunfire, according to the Associated Press, and attacks continued right up to the ceasefire was declared.
Before the truce was announced, Israeli rockets reportedly brought down a seven-story building in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza. Israeli media has reported that one Israeli was killed and several others were wounded by a mortar fired from Gaza shortly before the ceasefire announcement.
Israel has agreed to Egyptian proposal for ceasefire that will be unlimited in time.
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA)August 26, 2014
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