LIVE BLOG: Day 8 of Israel-Gaza conflict 2012

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Netanyahu speaks to Obama, takes his recommendation to accept cease-fire; four IDF soldiers wounded in Eshkol Regional Council; five killed in air strikes on Gaza Strip; bus explodes in Tel Aviv earlier in the day

Egypt has announced that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a cease-fire to end eight days of fighting. Hundreds of rockets were fired into southern Israel, killing killed five Israelis, while IDF strikes in Gaza killed more than 140 Palestinians.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel on Tuesday, to help the sides reach a cease-fire.

More than 140 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel on Tuesday, including one that scored a direct hit on a building in Rishon Letzion, wounding two people.

The Palestinians reported that five people were killed in the Strip on Tuesday morning, and put the total death toll in Gaza at 130, including 31 children. Five Israelis have been killed since the conflict began.

LIVE BLOG

8:14 P.M. Rocket alert sounds in Ashdod, Gaza border area (Haaretz)

7:58 P.M. Five rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, Iron Dome missile system intercepts four, one rocket hits house, no casualties but damage reported (Haaretz)

7:51 P.M. Rocket alert sounds in Be’er Sheva (Haaretz)

7:36 P.M. Netanyahu spoke to Obama and took his recommendation to give a chance to the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire, the PMO said. Netanyahu’s office said that Israel wants to give a chance to the possibility of stabilizing the situation, before exerting more force.

White House: Obama said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

7:33 P.M. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: The people of this region deserve to live without fear. There is no alternative for comprehensive and just peace.

7:27 P.M. Egyptian FM: Israel-Gaza cease-fire to take effect at 9 P.M.

7:22 P.M. Israel has agreed to a truce in the Gaza Strip, but will not lift its blockade of the Palestinian territory, Israeli sources said. (Reuters)

7:09 P.M. Clinton to announce at 8 P.M. that Israel and Hamas agreed on principals for a cease-fire agreement, an Israeli diplomatic source said, noting that there will be no signed agreement, but solely an understanding between the two sides based on the principal of “quiet in exchange for quiet.” Only in the second stage, negotiations via Egypt will take place regarding issues in the Gaza Strip. 

Reuters reports that Egyptian officials say that a cease-fire agreement has been reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

6:51 P.M. Three rockets land in open areas in Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Another rocket lands in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. No reported casualties.

6:35 P.M. Israel mulls declaring unilateral cease-fire, officials say

6:30 P.M. Released for publication: the four Israelis wounded in Eshkol Regional Council are IDF soldiers. Two are lightly to moderately wounded.

5:56 P.M. Forum of nine senior ministers concluded their meeting which discussed the Egyptian proposal for a Gaza cease-fire.

5:43 P.M. Two rockets fired from Gaza land in open area in Eshkol Regional Council.

5:33 P.M. Four Israelis were wounded after a mortar shell from Gaza hit Eshkol Regional Council. 

4:56 P.M. State Department: Abbas and Clinton met for half an hour in Ramallah to discuss the situation in Gaza. Clinton indicated that U.S. is working to support ongoing efforts to defuse the crisis, saying she will be visiting Cairo later in the day.

4:45 P.M. Two rockets fired from Gaza Strip land in open areas in Eshkol Regional Council. No casualties or damage.

4:33 P.M. Egyptian authorities confiscate trucks carrying 108 warheads intended for Grad rockets, about 430 kilometers northwest of Cairo. Trucks also contained ammunition and likely arrived from Libya.

4:29 P.M. Palestinians report that hundreds of Hamas supporters are protesting in Nablus.

 

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