Egypt brokers ceasefire in Middle East conflict
A CEASEFIRE between Israel and Hamas came into force at 9pm local time last night.
Egypt brokered the deal and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had agreed after consulting with President Barack Obama.
It ended a week of fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.
Under its terms, Israel agreed to cease all military activity against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants said they would stop rocket attacks into Israel.
It was also agreed that, after 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel would be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people.
President Obama welcomed the agreement.
He spoke to Mr Netanyahu and commended him for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
The White House stressed that the United States would use the opportunity to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.
Mr Obama also said he would seek more money for the Iron Dome defence system that has protected Israel from rocket attacks.
Earlier, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband had joined together in calls for a ceasefire.
But the pair disagreed at Prime Minister's Questions over support for greater recognition of the Palestinians at the United Nations, with Mr Cameron warning it could be "dangerous" for the peace process.
He said "But in the end the point is this: we will not solve this problem at the United Nations.
"This problem will be solved by Israelis and Palestinians sitting down and negotiating."