Israel accepted an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Hamas-led Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli officials said Wednesday that Jerusalem would go along with a Gaza truce announced earlier by Egypt and Hamas. Defense Minister Ehud Barak had held off approving the arrangement so a senior advisor, Amos Gilad, could hold overnight consultations in Cairo.
Under the deal, Israeli forces will stop initiating attacks in Gaza and Hamas will ensure an end to cross-border shelling from the territory as of 6 a.m. Thursday.
In addition to a suspension of hostilities, Israel is to ease its blockade on Gaza.
Israel has demanded progress in talks on the release of Gilad Shalit, a soldier held hostage by Hamas, for Gaza’s key border crossing with Egypt to open. Israel also expects Cairo to choke off arms smuggling to Gaza from the Egyptian Sinai.