Fragile truce deal hailed as a victory on both sides

Hillary Clinton praised the Egyptian President for showing leadership during the talks

Jerusalem

Hours after a bomb ripped through a bus in Tel Aviv, apparently sinking all hope of ending eight days of violence in Gaza, Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The deal came into effect at 9pm local time following a frantic final day of diplomacy in which Ms Clinton shuttled between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo to help seal the seal.

Around 18 rockets were fired in the first 90 minutes of the ceasefire, but hours later it appeared as if it was being observed by both sides. The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had warned it might take some time to impose discipline on all the militant cells.

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem indicated that an immediate truce, if it held, would be followed by a staged departure of some 60,000 Israeli troops deployed along the Gaza border, followed by a gradual lifting of the trade and passenger restrictions imposed by Israel on Gaza in return for the gradual disarming of militant groups in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

Details leaked to the Egyptian media said the ceasefire was a four-point plan under which Israel and the Palestinian groups both commit to cease all hostile activity in Gaza or around its borders, and Israel will lift border controls, easing restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza.

Both sides were quick to claim victory following the announcement. Mr Netanyahu said in a televised address that Palestinian militants "presumed that I would refrain from acting forcefully against them. They were wrong."

"In a conversation I had this evening with President Obama I agreed with him that it would be a good thing to give a ceasefire a chance in order to calm the situation and to enable the citizens of Israel to return the rhythm of their normal lives," he said.

Meanwhile, addressing reporters in Cairo, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal declared: "The Israeli conspiracy has failed. They wanted to conduct an election campaign and they wanted to test Egypt."

He added: "In 24 hours we will see how the ceasefire is going and then we will see how to fulfill the demands of the Palestinian people to end the killings and assassination and allow the Palestinian people to live like any other people."

Announcing the ceasefire in the Egyptian capital, Ms Clinton pointedly praised the "responsibility and leadership" of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, who played a key role in applying pressure to Hamas, just as Barack Obama brought all his weight to bear on Israel. Celebrations in the streets of Gaza followed the announcement, with many emerging from homes they had rarely left throughout a week of air attacks on the densely populated territory.

In Gaza City, the mood was one of relief. Ayman al-Assawi, 45, whose brother Rahem was one of those killed, said: "The main thing is for the fighting to stop." More than 150 Palestinians have been killed, 42 of them children; five Israelis have lost their lives.

Some in the Hamas hierarchy had argued that a ceasefire deal that failed to include an end the blockade of Gaza would mean that Israel can maintain a stranglehold on the Palestinian territory. But the head of Hamas's military, Mohammed Diaf, is said to have persuaded them that the deal on offer could not be bettered for the time being.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on