Both sides in the three-week long Gaza conflict have agreed to come to a temporary cease fire that began just earlier today. After Israel called off attacks at 2 a.m. Sunday morning, Hamas followed suit around twelve hours later, agreeing to a one-week truce. Now Egypt will step forward and continue their role as mediator in an attempt to bring forth a longer-term deal between the two sides.
The next step now is a summit alongside European and Arab leaders gathered in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheik. In order to for a lasting peace, Hamas would like to see the opening of the crossings on Gaza’s borders. Israel wants weapons to stop being smuggled into Gaza across the Egyptian border.
Israel's troops are staying in place as negotiations move forward. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated last night, “We have reached all the goals of the war, and beyond." Israel made it clear that they will respond to any subsequent attacks.
There have been over 1,000 casualties since the fighting began. Large areas in Gaza remain without basic services like potable water and electricity. Since the conflict began, there have been a number of protests and rallies in the streets of New York.