As it happened: Gaza-Israel violence 21 November

Key Points

  • A ceasefire agreement came into force at 1900 GMT
  • Rocket fire continued from both sides up until the agreement but no major breaches have been reported so far
  • Earlier, a blast on a bus in Tel Aviv injured at least 15 people; it is not clear who carried out the attack
  • At least 11 Palestinians were been killed in fresh Israeli airstrikes today
  • All times GMT

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    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza. International efforts to finalise a truce in Gaza are being stepped up after a night of heavy Israeli air strikes and sporadic Hamas rocket attacks. Stay with us for the latest updates, incorporating reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world, which you can send via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.


    The Israel Defense Forces say that overnight, they targeted "dozens of terror infrastructure sites throughout the Gaza Strip". The targets included the Ministry of Internal Security which the IDF says "served as one of the main command and control centers for the Hamas terror organization".

    0723: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    There should be no surprise that Israel has kept up its air strikes in Gaza despite the talks going on to achieve a truce. Israel has a twin track policy of doing both... Both sides have a stake in trying to get a truce going - they have made their points and if they continue with this things will get worse... But people absolutely don't know what is going to happen - it is the type of situation where you can't predict what is going to happen even an hour from now.

    0725: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    More than 20 Palestinians were killed yesterday across Gaza including at least 3 children. There were more casualties here overnight. In Israel, one soldier and one civilian were killed yesterday. Gaza's streets this morning are again empty. People are trying to protect themselves at home and following the news on televsion. They're still waiting for something positive and concrete from Cairo.


    This is a picture of the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza that the IDF said (0721) it hit overnight.

    A general view shows the destroyed compound of the internal security ministry in Gaza City after it was targeted by Israeli air strike overnight
    Michael, in Rishon Lezion, Israel,

    emails: If the Arab League does not sign up to the cease fire then we are just waiting for another round to happen. The world seems to forget that 20 countries are still officially at war with Israel and have not signed a cease fire.


    As in virtually every modern conflict, there is intense debate on the legality of the actions of the two sides involved here. Guglielmo Verdirame, from the Department of War Studies at King's College London, gives his views of the the legal positions of Israel and Hamas to the BBC News website.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: I don't know what huge building in front of me was. Now it's impossible to tell. It's just a mass of smoking concrete #Gaza


    Haaretz reports that a short time ago, a rocket barrage was fired towards Ashkelon and the Eshkol Regional Council. Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted three out of the five rockets fired toward Ashkelon and the Eshkol missiles fell in open ground, Haaretz says.


    Israeli armoured personnel carriers wait in a staging area on the Gaza border, as talks continue to try to bring about a ceasefire.

    Armoured personnel carriers wait in a staging area
    Uri, in Ashdod, Israel,

    emails: Just came back from the shelter after another rocket alarm and boom. The situation really challenges my position in regards to the conflict as an Israeli. It pains me to think about the Palestinian children and uninvolved people hurt by my country's forces but these same people are supporting a government who's policy is to blindly throw as many rockets as possible on civilian population. There's no solution to this paradox. That's life in the Middle East, I guess.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: F16 circling above #Gaza leaving swirls of jet stream. Drone also lazily drifting across brilliant blue sky. Not so nice on the ground


    Confirmation that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has begun talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. News agency AFP's take on the meeting is that while Mr Abbas does not have "any practical influence in Gaza", his West Bank government would be instrumental in implementing any new arrangements on the Gaza border that would be part of a cease-fire pact.

    Katya Adler BBC News, Jerusalem

    tweets: #Israel military chief of staff orders continued Gaza bombardment Concentrating, he says on those firing rockets + 'terror infrastructure'

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Ceasefire talks to continue today. Worth noting: As with Shalit deal, Israel prepared 2 negotiate with Hamas just not directly #Gaza #Israel


    This was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a short time ago, shaking hands with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat before her meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas (0757).

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shakes hands with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat (R) before her meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas
    Lyse Doucet BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Just drove by #Abbas house in #gaza. He's not been here for years. #clinton meeting him in Ramallah but not much he can do.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Health ministry in #Gaza says at least three people killed overnight. 2 in Rafah pulled out of rubble of house. 1 in Jabalia.

    Ghada Snunu, in Gaza,

    blogs: "As the Israeli offensive enters its seventh day, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are running out of basic necessities needed for their survival, including food and clean drinking water. Private vendors selling desalinated water have stopped delivery of water due to ongoing air strikes and fear for their safety."

    Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    There's no reason to suppose a new ceasefire would last, unless there's a change in the political equation between the two sides- if in exchange for the lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, Hamas would agree to stop firing rockets. But a leap of faith would be required by both sides, and a way to present any deal to their respective publics as a victory - it would be a complex deal. At a time when people are being killed, and there's a massive lack of trust, it's a tall order.


    The Israeli army has been ordered to continue strikes on Gaza regardless of ceasefire talks, Voice of Israel radio reports at 0800, as heard by BBC Monitoring. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz is quoted as saying the ceasefire contacts in Cairo do not affect the IDF's operations.


    The IDF say a rocket has made a direct hit on a house in Moshav Timorim in the region of Beer Tuvia. An ambulance spokesman said the house was on fire but there are no reported injuries.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: IDF says that 29 rockets launched from #Gaza and 12 intercepted, since midnight. More than 100 targets hit across #Gaza since midnight.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Talks in Cairo between all sides started again 30 mins ago BBC in #Gaza told

    Channel 4's Alex Thomson,

    tweets: #c4news #gaza families from n Gaza crowding into UN school in G City. Intermittent explosions.


    One woman is reported lightly injured by Israeli ambulance spokespeople in the rocket attack on Moshav Timorim.


    The pro-Hamas Al-Quds TV station reports at 0900 that Israeli aircraft have fired two missiles at the home of Isam al-Da'lis, adviser to Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyah, as seen by BBC Monitoring. There are no immediate reports of any casualties.


    The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas starts speaking at a press conference in Ramallah in the West Bank.


    After opening remarks by President Abbas, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon addresses the press conference, saying discussions with Mr Abbas had been "constructive".


    Mr Ban says the situation in Gaza is "deeply alarming". He says that Israeli attacks on military targets in Gaza are killing and injuring civilians and damaging vital civilian infrastructure. He appeals on all sides to respect international law and avoid civilian casualties and calls on an end to indiscriminate rocket attack on Israeli population centres.

    Lyse Doucet BBC News, Gaza

    tweets this picture of a coastal bridge in Gaza destroyed in an Israeli attack overnight, cutting southern Gaza from the north and centre:

    Coastal bridge in Gaza destroyed in Israeli bombardment
    1009: Breaking News

    Israeli media are reporting an apparent explosion on a bus in the commercial capital Tel Aviv - details are still coming in.


    Israeli police say the explosion on a bus in Tel Aviv was a terrorist attack, according to Reuters. Reports from Israeli sources say at least 10 people have been injured.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: celebratory gunfire going off in Gaza after bus reports of bus attack in Tel Aviv

    Ofir Gendelman Spokesman for the Israeli prime minister

    tweets: 10 people were injured on the bus that was bombed in Tel Aviv. 3 are severely wounded.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    Eyewitness says Tel Aviv bus was public bus. All windows smashed. Most wounded already taken away by ambulance 'Doesnt look good', he says

    John Chacksfield, in Tel Aviv, Israel,

    emails: A bomb has just exploded in Tel Aviv on a bus. I can hear the ambulance sirens now. It is in a location called Shaul Hamelech Boulevard in the centre of the city. This is not going to help the peace process.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    Mosque loud speakers in #Gaza are announcing bomb attack across city

    Gidi Kleiman BBC News, Jerusalem

    tweets: #TelAvivBlast, reports of witnesses who saw a man leave bomb on the bus. According to emergency services all wounded taken to hospital.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Hamas claims responsibility for bus explosion in Tel Aviv, broadcasting statement from mosques in #Gaza. Say managed to place bomb on bus.


    Pictures of the aftermath of the blast in Tel Aviv have been emerging:

    At the scene

    Voice of Israel radio reports that the attacker was "caught near the scene" of the Tel Aviv blast, according to BBC Monitoring. "An initial investigation shows that a man got on the bus, placed an object on a seat - apparently an explosive charge - and left the scene." The station says a person fitting the description of eyewitnesses, "possibly the perpetrator", was caught a few minutes ago near scene of explosion.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: #Hamas had warned in the first few hours after Jabari assassination that they would not just respond with rockets from #Gaza into #Israel

    Shula, in Ashkelon, Israel,

    emails: The bus explosion is an indication that the terror won't stop through the murder of Palestinians or of Israeli civilians but through peace negotiations, which the hypocritical government of Netanyahu have shunned for almost their entire period in power. We and the Palestinians are being sacrificed for political gain.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: #Israel police say have released a man detained shortly after the bus bombing #Tel Aviv

    Jonathan, in Jerusalem,

    emails: Celebratory gunfire after a bus bombing tells you all you need to know about which side is acting humanely and which is not. Even if you accept the fundamentally flawed argument that Palestinians have no option other than terror, to celebrate the death and injury of civilians is completely unjustifiable. Even in the most bombarded and terrorised areas of southern Israel the residents would never throw a party to celebrate loss of innocent life in Gaza.

    Ros Atkins BBC WHYS

    tweets: If you can, turn @bbcworldservice now for @bbc_whys live from Israel as our guests react to bus bombing in Tel Aviv.


    The Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV station says that "Hamas welcomes the martyrdom operation and stresses that it is a natural response to the massacring of the Al-Dalu family and the targeting of Palestinian citizens," as seen by BBC Monitoring.


    More pictures have been coming through from the site of the blast in Tel Aviv:

    Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry a wounded person from the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel
    Kate Benyon-Tinker BBC producer, Gaza

    tweets: Several MASSIVE bombs just dropped around area of court compound #Gaza

    1129: Lyse Doucet BBC News, Gaza

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet has posted this picture from Gaza following what she said were "six loud explosions".

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Was just on our roof in Gaza when there was a series of massive explosions 1km away. Watched the fire ball rip into the sky. Attack was on football stadium, perhaps because rockets are fired from there.


    Pope Benedict XVI has spoken of his concern at the escalating violence in Gaza. "Hatred and violence are not the solution," he said.

    Eytan Levit's wife works at a building overlooking the scene of the bombing in Tel Aviv,

    he told the BBC: "I've just spoken to my wife. She said there was a big explosion and a lot of smoke. When they looked out they saw bodies lying near the bus. They have all been told to stay inside as the situation is not over. It was a huge relief to know she was alright."


    Haaretz reports that police have not arrested anyone yet in connection with the Tel Aviv bus bombing but they are chasing two suspects.


    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for solidarity with Israel in its conflict with Hamas. "I don't think we can imagine, if we're not there, what it means to be always in fear of being fired at with your family," she told Germany's lower house of parliament on Wednesday.

    Abir Kopty West Bank

    tweets: Clashes now with the Israeli army at Hebron, Atara, Nablus. #protest4gaza

    Medical Aid for Palestinians

    tweets: As of Saturday, 6 ambulances have been damaged in #Gaza by nearby air strikes. 4 health staff were injured.


    The number of people injured in the Tel Aviv bus bombing is now reported to have risen to 17.


    Mahmoud Abbas has told a press conference in Ramallah that "a ceasefire and a truce should be the beginning to speed up and find an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories".

    "We put the Secretary General [of the UN] in the picture about Israeli behaviour including the settlements and the criminal attacks of the settlers in the West Bank," he said, adding that Israel was also killing and uprooting Palestinians in Jerusalem in order change the "identity" of the city.

    Lauren Bohn

    tweets: #Israel Dep Speaker Danny Danon: "It is time to declare war…the time for restraint is over." #Gaza


    Schools in the Tel Aviv municipality are not allowing children to leave following the bus bombing in the city, according to Haaretz.


    Indonesian police have fired tear gas to push back nearly 200 pro-Palestinian protesters at the US embassy in Jakarta. Members of the Islamic Student Association rallied in front of the embassy on Wednesday waving Palestinian flags and holding banners that read: "Save Palestine from Israel, the terrorist."

    Muhammed, in Gaza City,

    emails: Yesterday I went to get my sister and her baby boy from Tal el Hawa. She has been told to evacuate. We are getting between five and six blasts an hour now.

    Maya Mey - Tel Aviv, Israel

    emails: The phones are down. You can hear the ambulances down the street... Everybody is going on Facebook to write "I'm ok" but the people who dont have Facebook are the ones that concern us the most, you cannot reach them. We are just waiting and praying.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Must listen audio of BBC's @jondonnison reporting live from #Gaza during airstrike i mentioned via @rebeccakesby1:


    The speaker of Iran's parliament Ali Larijani said on Wednesday that Iran had sent military aid to Hamas, the AFP news agency reports. "We are proud to defend the people of Palestine and Hamas ... and that our assistance to them has been both financial and military," he said according to reports on the Iranian parliament's website seen by AFP.


    US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has arrived in Cairo, where ceasfire talks are taking place, the AFP news agency reports.

    1233: Gidi Kleiman BBC News, Jerusalem

    reports: Israel's Minister of Homeland Security Yitzhak Aharonovich has told Israeli TV that officials are getting indications over which terror organisation carried out attack. He would not go into what effect the bus explosion will have on cease fire negotiations.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: As far as I know no acceptance of responsibility for Tel Aviv attack on Hamas official media since mosque speakers claimed it for therm.


    Al Jazeera's staff in Gaza say they are relocating from their office after the strike on the nearby Yarmouk stadium. "Windows shattered, we hid under desks than dashed under the stairs", Al-Jazeera correspondent Jacky Rowland said in a tweet.


    Shortly after arriving in Cairo to attend ceasefire talks, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton issued this statement: "The United States strongly condemns this terrorist attack and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the people of Israel. As I arrive in Cairo, I am closely monitoring reports from Tel Aviv, and we will stay in close contact with Prime Minister Netanyahu's team. The United States stands ready to provide any assistance that Israel requires."

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Health ministry in #Gaza says 11 people killed today.


    Haaretz is quoting Palestinian sources in Cairo saying a cease-fire will not be announced on Wednesday due to disagreement over the Gaza blockade. The source says that Israel refuses to include the lifting of the blockade in the truce agreement.


    Hamas' deputy leader Musa Abu Marzouk has condemned the killings of six alleged collaborators in Gaza in Tuesday as "unacceptable". "Punishing collaborators... must only be carried out in accordance with the law and through the legal procedures," Mr Abu Marzouk said in a statement on his Facebook page.

    Israel Defense Forces

    tweets: A short while ago in #Gaza, the IDF targeted an underground rocket launcher as well as 5 terror operatives preparing to launch rockets.


    At prime minister's questions today, UK Labour leader Ed Miliband said the latest violence in Gaza "has shown us once again that there is neither peace, nor a peace process. The reality is that the international community does bear some responsibility for the abject failure of having those meaningful negotiations, nine years on from the promise of the road map for peace."

    Prime Minister David Cameron responded: "I think that we need to do everything we can to persuade President Obama that this should be a leading priority for his second presidential term... in the end peace can only come about by Israelis and Palestinians sitting down and talking through the final status issues. They have to discus borders, Jerusalem, refugees."

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: seems last strike in #Gaza actually hit the side of a building not the football stadium


    Unconfirmed reports say at least three people have been killed in new airstrikes in Gaza.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Latest strike in #Gaza city hit building with Islamic Jihad office. Doctors at Shifa hospital say 6 year old boy killed and 2 injured.

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    tweets: According to the UN there are now 10,000 newly internally-displaced people in #Gaza after #Israeli bombing & warning to leave their homes.


    Agence France Presse is reporting that the building housing its Gaza office has been hit again in an Israel airstrike. Palestinian medics are saying one person has been killed.


    Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesperson for Israel's police, has told the BBC that security has been stepped up in Tel Aviv following a bus bombing earlier today. "There was at least a package with possibly a suicide bomber that planted a device and maybe left the scene. Investigations are continuing at the moment and we are looking in different directions. We have higher security in and around the area and road blocks have been set up," he said.


    A child was killed in the second Israeli airstrike to hit Agence France Presse's office this week, the newswire reports. None of its journalists were in the building at the time. "The child Abdul Rahman Majdi Naeem was martyred and another citizen was wounded in the targeting of the Naama building," health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.


    Avi Shushan, spokesman for the Ichilov medical center in Tel Aviv where the injured from the bus bomb were taken, has told the BBC that 21 injured people arrived at the hospital. Three people suffering from moderate injuries are in surgery now, six have been sent home and the rest are suffering from anxiety. He characterised the physical injuries as fragment (pieces of glass, metal etc) injuries, blast injuries and burns.

    Charles Levinson Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Wave of suicide bombings in 90s kicked off w/ assassination of hamas bombmaker Ayyash. Could Jabari killing have same consequence? #Gaza

    Ben Levine, Israel, training with the Israel Defense Force

    emails: There haven't been any rockets landing near our base, but my adopted family live in a small village that is regularly under threat of rockets. For the past year, it's been a regular occurrence that we will run to shelters when the sirens ring for possible incoming rockets. I've been training for six months now and a conflict with Gaza certainly hasn't been talked about during that time - it has happened very suddenly.


    Hugh Naylor writes in The National that one of the biggest challenges for Hamas will be getting the different militant groups in Gaza to agree to a ceasefire.


    BBC Monitoring: A Lebanese TV channel affiliated with Hezbollah says the "Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed the attack" on a bus in Tel Aviv. The report, broadcast on Al-Manar TV at 1250 GMT, did not elaborate.

    People used mosque loadspeakers in Gaza earlier to say Hamas had carried out the bus bombing, but Hamas itself has not officially said so.


    Foreign Policy asks in a new blog post: Will the Tel Aviv bus bombing trigger a Gaza invasion?


    A US State Department spokesperson has said Hillary Clinton expressed her appreciation for President Mahmoud Abbas' leadership in encouraging calm and maintaining security on a visit to the West Bank.

    The secretary of state also reiterated the US position opposing the Palestinian initiative to seek observer state status at the UN General Assembly in meetings with Palestinian officials. Mrs Clinton has now arrived in Cairo for talks on resolving the Gaza crisis.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: another airstrike in #Gaza a kilometer from our bureau close to other huge strike earlier


    The Huffington Post's Josh Hersh says here that some of the tunnels in southern Gaza targeted in Israeli airstrikes were unlikely to be used for smuggling weapons.

    The UK Foreign Office,

    tweets: FCO Minister for #MiddleEast Alistair Burt spoke to Mrs Dalou yesterday to convey sympathy for her tragic loss. #Gaza

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Tel Aviv police commander tells us road patrols and intelligence stepped up to find bus bomber #Israel #Gaza

    1431: Richard Galpin BBC News, Israel

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently holding a meeting to discuss the latest ceasefire proposal from Egypt.


    Haaretz says Israel is braced for Iranian efforts to re-arm militant groups in Gaza, particularly with medium-range rockets, once the current hostilities end.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Health ministry in #Gaza says doctor at Shifa hospital called to treat injured 6 year old. Got to patient, found it was his son. Boy was dead.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets (2/2): Boys name was Abdul Rahman Naaem. Father is Doctors Majdi at Shifa hospital in #Gaza


    Egyptian authorities confiscated trucks carrying explosive warheads and a variety of small-arms ammunition smuggled from Libya, Egyptian security officials told the Associated Press. Smuggled weapons from Libya have often fallen into the hands of Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula, or pass via underground tunnels to Gaza, the agency reports. The officials said authorities seized pick-up trucks carrying 108 warheads for Soviet-designed Grad rockets near Marsa Matrouh, 430km (270 miles) northwest of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast. Suspected smugglers had fled the scene.


    The Global Post reports on the history of ceasefire agreements between Israel and the Palestinians over the last decade.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Egypt for talks with President Mursi, amid efforts to broker a ceaefiere agreement in Gaza.

    Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    tweets: Docs couldn't revive Mahmoud, 14. Half an hour after rushed into hospital, his father tenderly kissed him and took him for burial #Gaza


    Libyan TV has reported on a Libyan delegation which has travelled to Gaza to express their "solidarity". "The new Libya of the 17 February [revolution], will not hesitate in its support and assistance to the Palestinian people," deputy chairman of the Libyan General National Council Salih al-Makhzum told reporters outside a Gaza hospital, according to the Libya TV station.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Shelling from israeli navy war ships just started in #Gaza

    Mohammed Suliman

    tweets: As I just reported about artillery shelling, now all I can hear is Israeli warships continuously and heavily shelling in the north of #Gaza


    UNICEF says that 22 children have been killed in Gaza and 277 injured, including 88 children under five. In Israel, 14 children have been injured.


    A Palestinian man runs away from the site of an Israeli airstrike on smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza earlier today.

    A Palestinian man reacts after an Israeli air strike near smuggling tunnels between the southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, on November 21, 2012 in Rafah.
    Tom Rayner Sky News

    tweets: Massive shelling from naval artillery coming in now toward the Shati neighbourhood of Gaza City - [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh's house is in neighbourhood

    Noga Tarnopolsky Global Post

    tweets: Reliable reports of several direct hits of missiles in southern #Israel, wounded and injured.

    Abir Kopty

    tweets: #Hebron: clashes continue in several locations, 1000s there. army shoots teargas & rubber bullets, # of injuries reported. #protest4gaza


    In this picture, Israeli police assess damage cause by a rocket strike to a house in Timurim, east of the town of Ashdod:

    An Israeli police officer stands outside a house damaged by rocket fire in Timorim, east of Ashdod

    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, recently arrived in Cairo to bolster peace efforts, says that the bomb blast in Tel Aviv underscores the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, according to the Reuters news agency.

    1558: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    reports: The IDF say they have targeted 120 sites in Gaza today. They say 81 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, of which 20 were intercepted by Israel's missile defence system.

    1606: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    Latest Gaza health ministry figures say 152 have been killed since last Wednesday, including at least 40 children. At least 13 people have been killed today in Gaza, they say.

    Gidi Kleiman BBC News Jerusalem

    tweets: Ch 10: preliminary, Israel expected to declare tonight ceasefire with out reaching an agreement with Hamas

    Sheera Frenkel

    tweets: Meeting between Hillary Clinton and Egyptian officials in #Cairo is now two hours over schedule.


    More detail on Channel 10's report on a unilateral Israel ceasefire has come in. Their defence correspondent Alon Ben David reports that following a long discussion in Netanyahu's nine-member kitchen cabinet, they decided that an agreement on Israel's terms could not be achieved and Israel would unilaterally declare a ceasefire. Egypt would then be left to pressure Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip to hold their fire as well. The channel's senior diplomatic correspondent, Emanuel Rosen, said the announcement will also include a list of concessions to Gaza including lifting restrictions for export.


    Small clashes broke out between Palestinians and the Israeli army in multiple locations across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in protests over Israeli actions in Gaza, according to Reuters. Medical sources said two Palestinians were shot in the legs by Israeli gunfire in a demonstration near the city of Ramallah. The Israeli military says its soldiers only fire live ammunition as a last resort, Reuters reports.


    The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has told an American radio station that "most of people that were hit in Gaza deserved it." Mr Ayalon told WNYC's The Takeaway programme that most of the casualties were "armed terrorists". The Takeaway has posted a clip from the interview online. The comments are likely to cause controversy as many civilians, including at least 40 children, have been killed in Gaza since last Wednesday.


    Reuters news agency is quoting a "Palestinian official with knowledge of the talks" that a ceasefire has been agreed between Hamas and Israel - but no official word yet.


    More on progress towards a ceasefire: Senior Israeli politicians who have been attending a high-level ministerial meeting have said Israel is "on the way to a ceasefire, apparently in the next few hours," according to Israel's Ynet website.


    Reuters news agency says an Egyptian official has confirmed that a ceasefire agreement has been reached between the two sides and adds that a formal announcement by the Egyptians is expected "shortly".

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent, Gaza

    tweets: #Israeli military says Erez Crossing to #Gaza opened today for medical supplies. after Kerem Shalom, was shut yesterday due to rocket fire.


    The Associated Press is now also quoting an unnamed Palestinian official as saying a ceasefire deal between Hamas and Israel is to be announced "within hours".


    As well as a press conference from Hillary Clinton and the Egyptian Foreign Minister, which is expected "shortly" according to Egyptian State TV, Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal is also expected to speak at 1800 GMT, according to Palestinian sources.

    "Daniel" from Jerusalem

    tells the BBC: "There is lots of talk about reaching a peace and today's bus bomb in Tel Aviv. Yesterday there was the frequent sound of sirens. My wife is seven months pregnant with our first child but she is in hospital because doctors fear she may lose the baby. Everyone wants the rockets to stop as they are making us miserable. I have friends and family who have left their homes in more violent areas to stay in Jerusalem because they feel safer here. But I don't know when there will be peace."

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: A senior Hamas negotiator in #Cairo tells BBC in #Gaza ceasefire deal has been reached. Will come into effect 2100 Gaza time


    Associated Press says it has further details of the reported ceasefire deal. An official told the newswire that Israel will cease all military activity against the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants would cease rocket attacks into Israel. After 24 hours of quiet, Gaza's border crossings with Israel would be opened further to allow freer movement of goods and people. Egypt would be the guarantor of the deal.


    The Egyptian Foreign Minister announces at a press conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the ceasefire will begin at 1900 GMT.


    Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr says at the press conference that Turkey, Qatar the UN and the Arab League contributed to the ceasefire talks.


    Hillary Clinton has been speaking at a press conference in Egypt following a ceasefire agreement. Here are some of her key quotes:

    "This is a critical moment for the region, Egypt's new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace."

    "The US welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in Gaza - for it to hold the rocket attacks must end and a broader calm must return."

    "In the days ahead the US will work with partners across the region to consolidate this progress, improve conditions for the people of Gaza, provide security for the people of Israel."

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Netanyahu's office accept's proposal for ceasefire according to statement.


    US President Barack Obama "commended the [Israeli] Prime Minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal - which the President recommended the Prime Minster do - while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself," according to a statement from the White House. Mr Obama said that the "United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza," the statement added.

    Danny Nisman Analyst

    tweets: #Israel govt will now have massive undertaking in convincing israelis that op was successful even though rockets persisted until final hour


    People in Gaza and Israel have been speaking to the BBC about how the recent violence has impacted on their lives.


    An Israeli statement seen by Reuters says Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with Barack Obama and "agreed to his recommendation to give the Egyptian ceasefire proposal a chance, and in this way provide an opportunity to stabilise the situation and calm it before any more forceful action would be necessary".

    1752: Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor

    Since Hamas took over internal control of the Gaza Strip from their Palestinian rivals Fatah in 2007, there've been many spasms of cross border violence. All have been followed by ceasefires. All have fallen apart, and everytime Israel and Hamas blame each other.

    The reason is that the ceasefires have been, to paraphrase a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, sticking plaster solutions. They cover up the fundamental problem which is that Hamas and Israel are in what amounts to a constant state of war. For months on end it can be a cold war, until it runs hot and deadly again. There's a strong chance that a new ceasefire would eventually fall apart too. Unless it brought with it a major change in the political equation between Israel and the Palestinians, especially those in Gaza

    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent, Gaza

    tweets: Err. Rockets being fired out of #Gaza now.


    Reports of sirens being heard in the Israeli town of Beer Sheva indicating incoming rocket attacks.

    Jon Williams World News Editor

    tweets: #Israeli PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak & FM Lieberman to make statements to the press in PM's office 1830 GMT #Gaza #Israel

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: And rounds are still coming into #Gaza


    Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian diplomatic representative in Britain, told the BBC: "If the United States is serious about a two state solution, if they are serious about resolving this conflict and not crisis management... I think this is the time where we can test the honest broker of peace, the United States, to put pressure on Israel and to get President Abbas and Netanyahu at a negotiating table. And, let's not look at Gaza separately from the West Bank. It's one entity."

    1813: Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    Jon's latest radio report from today's events in Gaza can be heard here

    Noah Browning Reuters, Gaza

    tweets: #Israel F-16 jet noise, constant surveillance drones still loud in the skies over #Gaza, 45 minutes before start of announced ceasefire

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Cease fire deal states : #Israel/Palestinian factions will stop all hostilities on the #Gaza strip/from the Gaza strip


    The BBC's Rushdi Abu Alouf has been sent this copy of the ceasefire agreement by a Hamas official:

    ceasefire agreement

    Here is the full text of the agreement:

    Understanding regarding ceasfire in Gaza Strip

    - Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.

    - All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

    - Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents' free movements and targeting residents in border areas. Procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

    - Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

    Implementation mechanism

    - Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.

    - Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

    - Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations, Egypt as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Half an hour 2 go before #Israel #Gaza ceasefire officially starts. Common here as ceasefire approaches that fire on both sides intensifies


    Hamas and Islamic Jihad are reported to have fired a number of rockets into Israel in the last hour, while the IDF says it has targeted three tunnels used for "terrorist activity" and two underground rocket launchers.

    Lyse Doucet BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: hearing all mosques in #Gaza will broadcast "Allahu Akbar" at 2100 once ceasefire comes into effect..

    Lyse Doucet BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: 15 min to go..huge blast of an #Israel strike on #Gaza


    Netanyahu has begun speaking at a pres conference on the ceasefire agreement. More to follow.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: (1/2) Netanyahu says Israel damaged 1000s of rockets in #Gaza and Hamas operational facilities during this op (2/2) Netanyahu says #Israelis should now return to normal life with ceasefire


    Netanyahu says he has agreed with President Obama to work to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, including those from Iran.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: As Netanyahu explains the ceasefire deal on Israeli TV, IDF rounds are still landing here in #Gaza

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Rocket sirens still in parts of southern #Israel. 28 minutes past ceasefire. Israel will prob ignore for next 24 hours or so if no-one hurt

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: The looks on the faces of the Israeli Prime Minister, defence minister & foreign minister do not look like they think they've won a victory

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: #Israel MoD says Israel holds #Hamas responsible to ensure ceasefire respected


    The ceasefire agreement has now come into force. Our correspondents on both sides of the border will be monitoring it.

    Sarah Topol Gaza

    tweets: 9 PM in #Gaza, can still hear the drones.

    Dan Williams Reuters, Jerusalem

    And the political flak flies: Israeli opposition leader @S_Mofaz says Gaza truce was a mistake that will backfire by bolstering Hamas.


    Journalists in Gaza have uncomfirmed reports of some continued explosions, as well as overhead drones. The BBC's Jon Donnison says in previous ceasefires, there have been some breaches before the truce properly takes hold.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Just before ceasefire Israel killed one Islamic Jihad fighter and injured 10 of their members

    Erin Cunningham Global Post

    tweets: I'm in #Gaza City, and haven't heard a strike in 7 - 8ish minutes.

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: Winners and losers of #Gaza deal: Morsi, increasingly at centre of things on the winning side and wooden spoon for Abbas increasingly on fringe


    Celebratory gunfire has been reported in Gaza City following the ceasefire agreement coming into place

    Jon Donnison BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: #gaza streets come to life again. car horns, cheering, traffic and gunfire.


    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged Israel and the Palestinians to keep their ceasefire pledges and exercise "maximum restraint", Reuters reports.

    Paul Danahar BBC News, Gaza

    tweets: #Gaza ceasefire celebratory gunfire via @audioboo


    Earlier today, Israeli soldiers were still positioned on the border with Gaza in preparation for any potential ground war.

    Israeli soldiers sit in an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) at a staging area outside the northern Gaza Strip November 21, 2012.
    Sarah Topol

    tweets: Hotel hands out chocolates 2 celebrate #ceasefire while mosque next door booms god is great, fireworks & celebratory gunfire outside #Gaza

    1946: Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: (1/2) Rocket sirens still in parts of southern #Israel. 28 minutes past ceasefire. Israel will probably ignore for next 24 hours or so if no-one hurt (2/2) Israel military spokesman tells my BBC colleague if can identify rocket firing squads still operating tonight from #Gaza has mandate to attack them


    Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaal has been giving a press conference in Cairo. He said Israel had failed in its "adventure" when it launched attacks on Gaza and and accepted Palestinian terms.


    Khaled Meshaal also said Egypt "has not sold out the resistance".

    "It has not put pressure like some people, Egypt has acted with respect. We wanted an end to the hostilities, but not at any price," he said.

    Shadi Hamid Middle East analyst

    tweets: In asymmetric battles such as this one, it's very hard for a group like Hamas to ever actually "lose," as long as it survives.

    2000: Richard Galpin BBC News, Israel

    A senior Israeli official has told the BBC that Israel reserves the right to retaliate if there are any violations of the ceasefire by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The official also said that there will be international action to stop the smuggling of weapons from Iran to the Gaza Strip and that this would include interceptions. He added tackling this issue would be one of the biggest challenges


    BBC Monitoring reports that Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV says 162 Palestinians were killed and 1,200 injured during the Israeli operation in Gaza.


    The BBC's Paul Danahar has posted this picture of cars back on the sreteets of Gaza for the first time in a week.

    Katya Adler BBC News

    tweets: Another lengthy list of towns in southern #Israel with rocket warnings Direct hit on house in Beersheva Direct hit in Ashdod - no injuries

    Ben Wedeman CNN

    tweets: IDF spokesperson says aware of "at least 2 launches from Gaza, and several interceptions since the ceasefire went into effect." #Gaza

    Caroline Hawley BBC World Affairs Correspondent

    tweets: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal thanks Iran for arms to Gaza, despite differences over Syria

    2022: Alistair Burt UK Foreign Office minister

    told the BBC from Tel Aviv: "The fact that there has been a ceasefire is of genuine, tremendous importance to the lives of ordinary people. But of course it is only a part of what must be a much more comprehensive settlement."

    Karl Sharro

    tweets: The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood arranged a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Brotherhood. Welcome to the new Middle East...

    Israel Defense Forces

    tweets: After 8 days, the IDF has accomplished its goals in Operation Pillar of Defense. A cease-fire agreement has come into effect.


    We are now closing our Israel-Gaza livepage. After much speculation over the last few days, a ceasefire finally came into effect at 1900 GMT. So far, there do not seem to have been any major violations of the truce. Over the last eight days, more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis were killed and many more injured. We will continue to cover the situation through the night on the BBC News website and our correspondents will bring you live updates on Twitter.


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