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Israel approves unilateral cease-fire in Gaza

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Security Cabinet has approved a unilateral cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media said late Thursday.

The decision came after heavy U.S. pressure to halt the offensive.

UN had also put pressure for an end to the violence.

Though an earlier report had said Netanyahu has rejected calls for the de-escalation of the crisis, multiple reports however said the cease-fire was to go into effect at 2 a.m., just over three hours after the decision.

Netanyahu’s office could not immediately confirm the reports, and there was no immediate reaction from Hamas.

Since fighting broke out on May 10, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas’ infrastructure, including a vast tunnel network, as well as targeted a building housing international media organisations.

Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted.

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