"Open-ended" cease-fire reached between Hamas, Israel

Palestinians have coffee next to the rubble of the Basha Tower that collapsed from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City
PHOTO: AP / Khalil Hamra

Egyptian state media has announced a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel to halt the seven-week Gaza war, which has killed over 2,200 people.

Both Egyptian state television and the state news agency MENA announced the deal Tuesday night. Both said it begins at 7 p.m. local time (noon EDT), without elaborating.

Earlier, officials with from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the main groups fighting in Gaza against Israel, said a cease-fire had been reached.

An Israeli official says Israel has accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire plan to end a seven-week war against Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip.

The official said Tuesday that Israel ``responded positively'' to Egypt's call for an open-ended cease-fire.

The Israeli official said Israel would ease its blockade of Gaza to allow humanitarian and construction materials to enter the war-battered territory.

He said indirect talks on more substantial issues would begin in Cairo within a month. Issues are expected to include Hamas' demand for an end to the blockade and Israel's calls for Hamas to disarm.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue with journalists.

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