After eight days of intense fighting during which nearly 150 Palestinians and five Israeli were killed and hundreds of others were injured, both the Israeli government and Hamas officials have agreed to the terms of an Egypt-brokered ceasefire that is set to go into effect at 9 PM local time (2 PM ET).
The truce was announced this afternoon at a joint press conference held in Cairo by Egyptian foreign minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "These efforts ... have resulted in understandings to cease fire and restore calm and halt the bloodshed that the last period has seen," Amr told reporters.
Though few details have been released, knowledgeable Egyptian sources told Reuters the truce requires Israel to cease all targeted assassinations and remove the threat of a ground incursion.
Easing the movement of Palestinians was also part of the agreement, but Israel has already started that it will not lift the blockade on Gaza.
Israel has released a statement saying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama "and agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance." Netanyahu is expected to conduct his own press conference shortly alongside Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
UPDATE: Despite the ceasefire announcement, multiple reports are still streaming in from Israel of rockets being fired on southern towns, including one that struck a house in the city of Beersheba 15 minutes ago.
UPDATE 2: BBC's Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison says this is a copy of the ceasefire deal (click to enlarge) that was forwarded to the media. As above, it includes stipulations that all hostilities cease and crossings be opened to allow "free movement."
[photo via AP]