Israel announces Gaza ceasefire after 22-day offensive

Israel has announced a unilateral truce in Gaza after the 22-day offensive which has left more than 1200 Palestinians dead, more than 400 of them children.

Israel announces Gaza ceasefire after 22-day offensive
Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, has announced a unilateral truce in the Gaza Strip after the 22-day offensive which has left more than 1200 Palestinians dead, more than 400 of them children.

Israel will halt its offensive in Gaza at 0000 GMT on Sunday but troops will remain in the enclave for the time being and will respond to Hamas fire, Olmert said on Saturday.

The announcement came after a meeting of Israel's security council on Saturday evening and halts the 22-day offensive which has left more than 1200 Palestinians dead, more than 400 of them children.

About 1,230 Gazans have been killed in Gaza since the offensive began, according to UN and Palestinian medical sources.

At least 13 Israelis have died, three of them civilians.

The unilateral truce allows Israel to avoid agreeing concessions with the Palestinian group, such as easing the 18-month-old blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has prevented medical aid and basic supplies from reaching the Palestinians.

Agencies
Last Mod: 18 Ocak 2009, 00:21
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