JERUSALEM—Reports from inside the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night indicated that a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas is working. The ceasefire was set to go into effect at 9:00 p.m. local time.
Celebratory gunfire sounded throughout Gaza and messages of congratulations were broadcast from mosques within 30 minutes of the ceasefire deadline, according to multiple foreign correspondents sending out live updates via Twitter. Paul Danaher, BBC’s middle east bureau chief, recorded the sounds of some of the gunfire.
The deal was reached after intense diplomatic pressure including the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the region. The Egyptian government also played a key role in brokering the ceasefire agreement, as direct negotiations between relevant nation-states and Hamas was not deemed an option. Egypt acted as an intermediary on behalf of Hamas.
The ceasefire announcement came on the heels of a day of violence in both Gaza and Israel. A terrorist bus bombing in central Tel Aviv delivered a major shock wave throughout the country, which hasn’t seen such violence since the Second Intifada ten years ago. There were approximately 10 injuries reported, but no fatalities.
Rocket attacks into Gaza and out of Gaza also continued throughout the day as areas in the south of Israel were targeted, including the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon to the south of Tel Aviv.
The past seven days of violence on both sides have left approximately 100 people in Gaza dead and 5 in Israel, as well as untold numbers of injured.