The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 21, 2012

Israel and Hamas agree to Gaza cease-fire

(Continued)

After a brief cooling off period, Israel pledged to ease its blockade of Gaza, though there were no firm assurances on how that will be done. Israel has maintained the blockade since Hamas seized power of Gaza in 2007, though it has gradually lifted many of the restrictions.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a top Hamas official, said on his Facebook page that talks on a new border arrangement would begin after the 24-hour cooling off period.

Israeli TV channels, citing unidentified Israeli officials, said the details on future arrangements would be handled through an international liaison team.

The deal marked a key victory for Egypt's new Islamist government, which is caught in a balancing act between its allegiance to Hamas and its need to maintain good relations with Israel and the U.S. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

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