Egypt and US broker Gaza ceasefire

Bombardment to stop at 1900 GMT on 21 November, says Egyptian foreign minister.

The ceasefire was announced at a press conference today.
The ceasefire was announced at a press conference today.

Israel has agreed to a ceasefire after several days of shelling the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian foreign minister has announced.

At a joint press conference, Mohammed Kamel Amr and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the cessation of hostilities would start at 7pm GMT (9pm local time).

Clinton added: 

"This is a critical moment for the region, Egypt's new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.

The US welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in Gaza - for it to hold the rocket attacks must end and a broader calm must return.

In the days ahead the US will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel."

In Jerusalem, Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed that he had agreed to the deal. Since last Friday, more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed. 

Editor's note: Read the New Statesman leader on the latest violence here.